Focus groups in research : information gathering or real in-depth value?

Loots, Ansie G. J. (2009)

CITATION: Loots, A. 2009. Focus groups in research : information gathering or real in-depth value?. Acta Academica, 41(1):164-182.

The original publication is available at http://journals.ufs.ac.za

Article

This article aims to highlight the value of real in-depth inquiry against the often uninformed use by novice researchers. Focus groups are frequently regarded as a more economical way of gaining the individual opinions of the eight to twelve members of the group. An in-depth focus group clarifies underlying issues in a group or organisation, such as power dynamics, interrelationships, alliances and consensus. The approach to focus groups whereby the researcher can glean deeper information and understanding about the values and power relationships underpinning all inter-group communications, is discussed, emphasising that it is neither "easy" nor "cheap". The skill and knowledge of the facilitator or researcher in this regard is paramount.

Die doel van hierdie artikel is om die soeklig te plaas op die waarde van indiepteondersoek teenoor die dikwels oningeligte gebruik van fokusgroepe in navorsing. Fokusgroepe word dikwels gesien as ’n ekonomiese manier om individuele inligting van die agt tot twaalf deelnemers te bekom. Die indiepte-fokusgroep werp lig op die onderliggende kwessies in ’n groep of organisasie, soos onder andere magsdinamiek, interverhoudinge, samewerking en konsensus. Die benadering wat gevolg word in die afneem van ’n fokusgroep waar ’n navorser die dieper inligting en begrip oor die waardes en magsverhoudinge wat alle intergroepverhouding onderlê bekom, verskil hemelsbreed van die insameling van slegs inhoud, en dit word onderstreep dat die fokusgroep nie noodwendig maklik of goedkoop is nie. Die vaardigheid en kennis van die fasiliteerder of navorser is in hierdie verband van die uiterste belang.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/14896
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