Focus Groups: From Structured Interviews to Collective Conversations is a conceptual and practical introduction to focus group. As the title indicates, focus groups traditionally encompass a wide range of discursive practices. These span from formal structured interviews with particular people assembled around clearly delimited topics to less formal, open-ended conversations with large and small groups that can unfold in myriad and unpredictable ways. Additionally, focus groups can and have served many overlapping purposes—from the pedagogical, to the political, to the traditionally empirical. In this book, focus groups are systematically explored; not as an extension or elaboration of interview work alone, but as its own specific research method with its own particular affordances. This book comprehensively explores:
- The nature of focus groups
- Politic and activist uses of focus groups
- Practical ways to run a successful focus group
- Effective analysis of focus group data
- Contemporary threats to focus groups
Focus Groups: From Structured Interviews to Collective Conversations is essential reading for qualitative researchers at every level, particularly those involved in education, nursing, social work, anthropology, and sociology disciplines.
Table of Contents
1. Focus Groups: A Brief and Incomplete History 2. Multiple, Interrelated Functions of Focus Group Work 3. Key Affordances of Focus Group Research 4. Fundamental Elements of Effective Focus Group Research Practice 5. Contemporary Dilemmas and Horizons of Focus Group Research 6. Epilogue
George Kamberelis is a Wyoming Excellence Chair of Literacy Education at the University of Wyoming.
Greg Dimitriadis is Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the Graduate School of Education, University of Buffalo, The State University of New York.