Serial Focus Groups: A Longitudinal Design for Studying Interactive Discourse

Christian Baden*, Olga Pasitselska, Tali Aharoni, Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Focus group methods specialize in the analysis of interactive discourse, but are only rarely employed as a stand-alone method to study such phenomena, owing to inherent limitations concerning the comparability and generalizability of findings. In this paper, we argue that focus groups undergo three kinds of transformations, involving changes in participants’ cognitive states, social ties, and discursive behavior, which raise both analytic challenges and valuable opportunities for the study of shared meanings and interactive negotiation processes in society. Introducing Serial Focus Groups, we extend familiar focus group designs as a method for studying interactive discourse in a longitudinal perspective, capitalizing on the analytic potentials raised by these transformations. Reviewing the methodological literature and drawing upon two large-scale focus group studies of socially interactive sense-making, we argue that serial focus groups can help overcome some of the limitations of cross-sectional focus groups and offer valuable new opportunities for analysis and validation.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalThe International Journal of Qualitative Methods
Volume21
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

Keywords

  • focus groups
  • mixed methods
  • narrative
  • philosophy of science
  • qualitative meta-analysis/synthesis

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