Focus Group & Analysis
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of observer note-taking
We undertook four emergent focus groups
towards the end of the study, two in London and two in Northern
Ireland, as a means of bringing together young people from different
research sites. These were highly productive and valued by the young
people. They were also very resource-intensive and difficult to
organise. More focus groups were planned at an earlier stage of the
research, but since attrition was less than originally anticipated,
available resources were re-allocated to interviews.
The groups employed the Values continuum
method used successfully in the Youth Values
study. Topic areas explored in the groups
focused on themes that had proved to be more difficult to explore in an
interview context (for example national identity) as well as areas of
common experience among the sample (for example leaving school, leaving
home) and areas in which their experiences were markedly different (for
example travelling, resources available to them). Sessions were taped
on audio cassette and transcribed and stored as off line data.