A methodology for cross-national comparative focus group research: illustrations from discussions about political protest

M.J. van Bezouw, A. Garyfallou, I.E. Oana, S. Rojon

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

We propose a methodology for comparative cross-national focus group research and illustrate how this methodology is useful for advancing our understanding of political protest. Focus group research allows researchers to study the collective process of meaning making and formation of intersubjective attitudes. This process has been shown to be relevant for how people discuss politics, and how in turn it could influence participation in politics. However, a systematic methodology for examining the influence of the historical, social, and political context in different countries has not been developed hitherto. In order to allow for comparisons between the formation of attitudes in different countries, we put forward several methodological decisions aimed at achieving standardization in cross-national focus group research design. Group composition, recruitment strategies, and moderation style are the key facets of focus group research that need to be standardized in order to make meaningful cross-national comparisons, but more practical considerations in implementing focus groups cross-nationally are also discussed. We illustrate and critically assess the proposed methodology based on data from an international comparative research project in which 80 focus groups were conducted in nine different countries in Europe and Latin America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2719-2739
Number of pages21
JournalQuality and Quantity
Volume53
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2019

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