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An Introduction to Focus Groups

June 19th, 2024

12:00pm - 3:50pm (EST)




Dr. Lea Sgier

Senior Lecturer, Qualitative Methodology, Political Science Department, University of Geneva

Find important conference information here:

Focus groups, traditionally used in market research, have become increasingly popular across the social sciences in the last two decades. Today, they are widely used for qualitative data collection both in academic and applied research (such as evaluation research). 

With the COVID pandemic, they have been adapted (with some success) for online use. In political science and international relations too, focus groups are particularly useful for research that examines everyday narratives and micro-level experiences and beliefs of "ordinary" citizens and for policy research (Stanley 2016, Cyr 2017) . They can also be useful for exploratory research aiming to generate hypotheses or categories (including as part of mixed-methods designs, for example a subsequent survey research).

This workshop is a short introduction to the method: its logic, key steps, uses and difficulties. By the end of the workshop, the participants should have a good idea of what focus groups are and what they can be used for.

The workshop is intended mainly for participants with little prior knowledge of FGs. However, participants who already have some experience with this method (as researchers or, possibly, as participants) are very welcome to join and bring along their experiences and questions.

Certificate Credits:


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