Led by Professor Andrew Smith
This session will reflect on the use of focus groups in social research. My intention is to draw on both personal reflection on my own experiences, as well as group discussion, in order to think through the possibilities and challenges attendant on this kind of social research. We’ll consider practical issues (how to approach, organize and facilitate focus group discussions), as well as epistemological questions (what do focus groups help us understand or explore; what kinds of ‘data’ do they produce and how can we best make sense of that data). I also hope to reflect on some more specific forms of focus group research such as the use of reading groups or group based reception studies.
This session will be most useful for those considering the use of focus groups as part of their wider research design, or who are already running sessions of that kind.
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