Internet-mediated focus groups (FGs) have become a feature of qualitative research over the last decade; however, their use within social sciences has been adopted at a slower pace than other disciplines. This paper considers the advantages and disadvantages of internet-mediated FGs and reflects on their use for researching culturally sensitive issues. It reports on an innovative study, which utilised text-based asynchronous internet-mediated FGs to explore attitudes to abortion, and abortion as a workplace issue. The authors identify three key elements of text-based asynchronous online FGs as particularly helpful in researching culturally sensitive issues – safety, time and pace. The authors demonstrate how these elements, integral to the actual process, contributed to ‘opinion change/evolution’ and challenged processes of stigmatisation centred on over-simplification, misinformation as to the incidence of a culturally sensitive issue in a population, and discrimination.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||International Journal of Social Research Methodology|
|Early online date||9 Dec 2020|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 9 Dec 2020|
- online focus groups
- qualitative methods
- sensitive research