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Focus Groups
Focus groups

These have become a significant research device for studying media audiences. Their growing prominence reflects the rise of reception studies in media research, which stress the different ways in which audiences interpret media messages rather than trying to establish media effects on audiences (Kitzinger and Barbour, 1999). The method involves ‘bringing together a group or series of groups of individuals to discuss an issue in the presence of a moderator’ (Gunter, 2000: 42). Groups are carefully structured with members selected to represent distinctive demographic and sociological characteristics appropriate to the particular study; six to ten members is judged the ideal group size. The moderator stimulates discussion and keeps it on track, without steering it and discussions are typically recorded for later transcription ...

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