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The What, Why and How of Conducting Focus-Group Research
International Journal of Language and Linguistics
Volume 7, Issue 5, September 2019, Pages: 235-239
Received: Feb. 17, 2019; Accepted: Sep. 6, 2019; Published: Sep. 21, 2019
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Fatimah Almutrafi, College of Languages and Translation, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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Qualitative research methodology is considered to be appropriate if a researcher plans to scrutinise a new area of study or research a topic when it is not suitable to use observational techniques such as attitudes and decision-making. The choice of any research methodology depends on the purpose of the research. In social science research, the three most common qualitative methods are observation, interviews, and focus groups. Each method is particularly suitable for obtaining a specific type of data. For example, the use of observation is suitable for collecting data on naturally occurring behaviour found in their usual contexts. Interviews are most appropriate for collecting data on people’s personal histories, perspectives, and experiences, particularly when exploring sensitive topics. Focus groups are effective in obtaining information on how groups of individuals think or feel about a specific issue and they also give greater insight into why certain beliefs are held. This paper aims to highlight different issues with regard to using focus groups as a qualitative method in the field of social sciences that can be integrated into an overall study design or can occur independently when a specific issue is being investigated. It starts off with an overview of focus groups and presents the values and limitations of using focus groups followed by some principles for composing them. The paper also discusses the role of the moderator. It concludes with the ethical considerations that should be taken into account when planning to use the focus group methodology.
Focus Groups, Qualitative Methods, Research Design
To cite this article
Fatimah Almutrafi, The What, Why and How of Conducting Focus-Group Research, International Journal of Language and Linguistics. Vol. 7, No. 5, 2019, pp. 235-239. doi: 10.11648/j.ijll.20190705.18
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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