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SOC101Y1 (470)
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Chapter 5

chapter 5

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University of Toronto St. George

Chapter 5: FOCUS GROUP INTERVIEWING The focus group interviewdesigned for small groups of individuals, formed by an investigator and led in a group discussion on some particular topic o Group interactions and discussions as part of the data-gathering method Appropriate uses for focus group interviews: 1. Obtaining general background information about a topic of interest 2. Generating research hypotheses that can be submitted to further research and testing using more quantitative approaches 3. Stimulating new ideas and creative concepts 4. Diagnosing the potential for problems with a new program, service or product 5. Generating impressions of products, programs, services, institutions, or other objects of interest 6. Learning how respondents talk about the phenomenon of interest, which may facilitate quantitative research tools 7. Interpreting previously obtained qualitative results Focus group consist of a small number of participants (no more than 7 people) o Large groups are difficult to manage and may erode into fragmented sub-groups o strongly motivated participants may monopolize the conversation (the larger the group is, the more highly motivated individuals there are in the group) o smaller groupreducing group think (belief as the result of subgroup pressure to avoid conflict) www.notesolution.com focus group under the guidance of a facilitatormoderator The Moderators Role the moderators job is to draw out information from the participants regarding topics (like the standard interviewers) o to encourage subjects to speak freely and completely but to stay on the topic focus group interviewsa means for collecting qualitative data in situations where a one-shot collection is necessary o e.g. social scientists may remain available for study only for a limited time Some Problems to Avoid in Focus Group Interviewing 1. Running a focus group because the investigator doesnt know what else to do o E.g. when a researcher is primarily interested in what some group does--the survey is the best strategy o However, if interested in why some group is interested in a particular activity, their attitudes and beliefs about these activities--a focus group may be useful 2. Being too vague about the objectives of the focus group interview o Planning the objectives using a cognitive map is a good method of assuring that you are clear on why you are using focus group research, and what sorts of questions you should be including during the course of the interview 3. Using too few groups www.notesolution.com
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