The focus group method and demographic analysis: thematic and subject positioning approaches

Disa Bergnehr, The Department of Child Studies, Linköping University

This paper illuminates problems and gains with qualitative methods in general and focus group interviews in particular, and elaborates on why the focus group method has the potential to bring forth new insights in reproductive behaviour. Focus groups produce data stemming from group discussions. The data is obviously context dependent and implications with regard to this are discussed. However, conducting focus groups can be very fruitful in that they bring forward people’s attitudes and values and the complexity of decision-making. In this paper, two complementary ways of analysing focus group data are presented, a thematic, cross sectional analysis, and an analysis based on subject positioning theories. While a thematic approach makes it possible to detect and analyse mutual and inter focus group general accounts, a subject positioning perspective emphasises individual agency and the way the discussion flows with regard to agreements, contradictions and contested statements.

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Presented in Poster Session 5