An investigation of community responses to literature on environmental sustainability, a study of rapid social and economic change in non-metropolitan regions, an examination of the construction of identity through shopping, and an exploration of the experiences of Filipina domestic workers in Canada - all of these are examples of research projects that employ focus groups as a means of disentangling the complex web of relations and processes, meaning and representation, that comprise the social world. With the shift to more nuanced explorations of people-place relationships in geography the focus group method has been recognised increasingly as a valuable research tool. Focus groups can be exhilarating and exciting, with people responding to the ideas and viewpoints expressed by others, and introducing you, the researcher, and other group members to new ways of thinking about an issue or topic. This chapter discusses the diverse research potential of focus groups in geography, outlines the key issues to consider when planning and conducting successful focus groups, and provides an overview of strategies for analysing and presenting the results.
Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography p. 156-182