The focus group analysis
DOI link for The focus group analysis
The focus group analysis book
Most studies of attitudes towards animals have utilised standard survey techniques to determine basic attitudinal dimensions, and to collect information on respondent characteristics, such as gender or income, that past research suggests may be systematically related to attitudes. While informative, such surveys tend to oversimplify attitudes and fail to capture the complex and often contradictory ideas and feelings that people have about animals. Moreover, for respondents whose own thinking on this topic is relatively unexplored, initial responses often reflect stereotypes or the most current news story, and thus can be misleading. Because of these shortcomings of standard survey techniques, and because our goal was to learn more about the ideas of groups seldom if ever studied in the attitudes towards animal literature, we selected focus group methods as an alternative. Focus groups provide an effective means of eliciting fine-grained expressions of attitudes towards animals, and allowing the focus group’s inter-group dynamics to help distil participants’ positions, stimulate recollections and crystallise alternative perspectives within the group. Moreover, this sort of research approach reveals how participants negotiate, both discursively and in concrete everyday ways, their inter-subjective understandings of animals as friends or food.