Reply must be 250 words and include citations from at least 1 scholarly sources. Each thread and reply must follow current APA format.
Glesne, C. (2016) Becoming qualitative researchers: An introduction (5th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.
Researchers pick out an issue and try to learn as much as they possibly can about it. From quantitative studies to qualitatively examining an issue, researchers do everything they can to find out the root issue of a problem and then try to solve it. Sometimes, even embedding themselves into a study. Focus groups, ethnographic studies, and case studies are all tools researchers use to evaluate a particular issue.
The Importance and Usefulness of Focus Groups
The utility of focus groups cannot be understated. Focus groups were used in World War II to develop useful training material for the troops, and then they were used for marketing research up until the 1980s when they were used to develop a better means of education relating to aids prevention and sexual contraception (Glesne, 2016, p. 123). The ability of a group of people to share different views on a similar experience is useful for finding an underlying explanation as to why something happens. A researcher utilizes focus groups to get to the point of a problem. For instance, it is often discussed how a question should be asked to ascertain a more in-depth response. A focus group consisting of older patients and their families ascertained that open-ended questions and a patient-centered approach help to gain a better understanding of treating their various elderly ailments (Lafortune et al., 2017, pp. 215-224). By building off of what other people are saying, or the ability to put into words what everyone is feeling in a particular situation will help any researcher be able to pinpoint a qualitative point. The importance and usefulness of focus groups also depend on not using just one focus group, but the ability to use several focus groups to ascertain a particular answer. Most of the time, focus groups are made up of strangers, and depending on the topic, diversity is always a key to ascertaining an accurate answer. Three to five focus groups comprised of six to ten participants are ideal as well (Glesne, 2016, p. 124). Having a researcher that follows this prescription to delve into topics makes focus groups highly advantageous to qualitative work.
Another way the focus group is essential is the way an interview can be conducted to entice information out of people that generally would not indulge information. For example, structured and semi-structured interview groups almost stir group members to be held-in by questions by an unstructured interview allows the freedom for members to “talk” and express their innermost thoughts. Interview types are consequential because they lead the conversation to a particular topic, but the environment a focus group adheres to opens up interview types to an all-encompassing free-for-all that the interviewer avoids leading the conversation to take notes (O’Leary, 2005, p. 116).
Compare and contrast the role of ethnographies and case studies in data collection
Ethnographies are profound, multifaceted studies that can, at times, be a sensitive topic. “Ethnographers attempt to understand the realities of a particular cultural group through deep, persistent and prolonged engagement within a natural setting” (O’Leary, 2005, p. 158). The essence of embedding oneself inside of another culture, building rapport with that culture, and being able to qualitatively expresses the opinions and needs of a specific group is vital in a geopolitical sense, especially in peace talks and trade. In the aftermath of the genocide of Rwanda, widows were brought together (with their former abusers) to training sessions, which lead them to realize they could go on with life (Eramian, 2017, pp. 52-66). The ability to sit-down with individuals living in conditions no Westerner can begin to fathom and then build enough rapport with those people to be able to bring them together with people that have killed their loved ones is the power of ethnographies!
Case studies, on the other hand, are similar to their ethnographic neighbors but builds off of outcome-based thinking. Case studies allow for in-depth exploration, focus on subtilties, make attempts to be holistic, explores processes as well as outcomes, and look into the context and setting of a situation (O’Leary, 2005, p. 150). Ethnographies focus on an individual or group of individuals and try to make their lives better, but case-studies are complete, all-encompassing academic studies.
Focus groups can be utilized to win wars, figure out what a populace is currently experiencing in political terms, and they can even be used to help companies make money through advertising. Ethnographic studies delve into a particular culture, and case studies try to figure out what is really going on in a particular study.
Eramian, L. (2017). Testimony, Disbelief, and Opaque Peace Building in Post genocide Rwanda.
Political and Legal Anthropology Review. 40(1). pp. 52-61. Retrieved from
Glesne, C. (2016). Becoming qualitative researchers: An introduction (5th ed.). New York, NY:
Pearson. ISBN: 9780133859393.
Lafortune, C. Elliott, J. Egan, M. Y. & Stolee, P. (2017). The rest of the story: A qualitative study
of complementing standardized assessment data with informal interviews with older
patients and families. The Patient. 10(2). pp. 215-224. Retrieved from
O’Leary, Z. (2005). Researching real-world problems. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN:
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