Drawing on the authors’ thirty years of combined experience in the field, this authoritative, step-by-step guide to conducting focus groups features dedicated chapters on all aspects of the research process. Loaded with real world research examples from across the social sciences, and learning features such as ‘expert advice’ and ‘concepts and theories’ boxes, as well as and end of chapter exercises and further reading, this is the perfect manual for novice researchers who want to conduct a successful focus group.

Observing the Focus Group

Observing the Focus Group

To carry out a good focus group, we recommend that, alongside the moderator, there is also an observer attending the discussion session. We know that in some focus groups the presence of an observer is not planned, often due to a lack of available human resources. In other focus groups, there is a person who accompanies the moderator, but is only seen as an assistant for the logistical aspects.

In this chapter, we will show that having an observer is fundamental for taking notes on both the contents of the discussion and interactions among the participants. We will then describe his/her tasks and also the tools that he/she may use, taking into account that: part of his/her work ...

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