Barbour, R. (2007). Doing Focus Groups. London: SAGE Publications. 174 pp. ISBN 978-0- 7619-4978-7.

Vivian Zenari


Focus groups can be used to gather data for primary analysis or to identify areas of need as a preliminary step in research design. Rosaline Barbour’s Doing Focus Groups should be of interest to those considering the use of focus groups for their action research. This book is one of the eight-volume SAGE Qualitative Research Kit series edited by Uwe Flick, professor of qualitative research in social science and education at the Free University of Berlin. It has eleven chapters and includes a glossary, reference list, author index, and subject index. The book begins with broader conceptual topics (Chapter One is called “Introducing Focus Groups”) and grows more practical in later chapters, which are arranged in the order by which a research project would tend to unfold. The chapters are organized similarly. Each begins with an internal table of contents and a list of learning objectives. At the end of each chapter is a list of key ideas and supplementary readings relevant to that chapter.  The book contains a generous number of illustrative examples from published research--often the Barbour’s own work in health research--to help elucidate chapter contents.  

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