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Focus Group Discussion

Focus group discussion is mainly used for non-positivist research. The focus group technique basically consists of bringing together a group of people to have an extensive free flowing discussion relating to their experiences or opinion on a particular focus issue. In sociology Robert Merton popularized this method. It is like a group interview where the researcher may act lime a moderator to direct the discussion in a desired direction of research. The moderator has a fairly standardized way of establishing a relaxed and congenial atmosphere, initiates the discussion and keeps it on the desired focus.

The usual procedure is to record the conversations and analyze them later. The purpose of the focus group is exploratory seeking to obtain opinions or experiences of respondents on a particular subject matter. The objectives of the focus group study are clearly specified but there is no structure of the discussion pattern. A distinct effort is made to keep the discussion free flowing .It allows studying of participants in a more natural manner than in case of techniques like interviews. Due to interactive nature, any errors can be clarified and validity of research findings is increased.