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Focus Group Practice by Claudia Puchta, Jonathan Potter


Focus Group Practice by Claudia Puchta, Jonathan Potter

Focus Group Practice is unique in providing a picture of focus group moderation and interaction that is based on the study of what actually happens in high-class market research focus groups and in using recent theories of interaction, for example discourse and conversation analyses, to throw light on the practice of moderation. It is written in clear, engaging and non-technical manner and richly illustrated by examples from focus groups in a wide range of different contexts. New moderators will find the basic elements of focus groups described and explained, and experienced moderators will find new ways of understanding what they do which will help them to develop their skills. Focus Groups moderation is understood in terms of the cutting edge theories of interaction. It concentrates on the basic and subtle processes through which moderators elicit opinions, manage disagreements, and generate a range of views. How are participants encouraged to be animated and involved, and how are the arguments and anecdotes discouraged? How are responses guided to in the required direction? This book addresses these pertinent questions. Above all, how does a moderator keep participants focused? This unique book will be essential reading for all involved in focus group practice. It is accessible to broad readership, including undergraduate students.

About the Author

Jonathan Potter is Professor of Discourse Analysis and Dean of the School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences at Loughborough University. He has studied topics such as scientific argumentation, current affairs television, riots, racism, relationship counselling and child protection helplines. His main focus recently has been on the study of helpline interaction, on interaction during family mealtimes, on the conceptualization of cognition in interaction research, and on issues of psychology and institutions. He a world authority on qualitative methods and has written on discourse analysis and discursive psychology, focus groups, the study of psychological issues. Recently has raised questions about the over-reliance of social scientists on open-ended qualitative interviews. He has taught workshops and short courses on analysis in 10 different countries.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th January 2004


Claudia Puchta, Jonathan Potter

More books by Claudia Puchta, Jonathan Potter
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SAGE Publications Inc


184 pages


Sociology & anthropology
Social, group or collective psychology



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