Focus group methodology in a life course approach – individual accounts within a peer cohort group

Article


Chatrakul Na Ayudhya, U., Smithson, J. and Lewis, S. 2014. Focus group methodology in a life course approach – individual accounts within a peer cohort group. International Journal of Social Research Methodology. 17 (2), pp. 157-171. https://doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2014.892657
TypeArticle
TitleFocus group methodology in a life course approach – individual accounts within a peer cohort group
AuthorsChatrakul Na Ayudhya, U., Smithson, J. and Lewis, S.
Abstract

This paper explores the use of focus group methodology as part of a life course approach building on Julia Brannen’s pioneering work in these two areas. Much life course research uses individual interviews, including biographical interview techniques. It is less usual to find focus groups used within the life course perspective. This paper draws on a PhD study of young British and Asian adults’ experiences of the transition from university to full-time employment, using focus groups as part of a multi-method approach, within a life course perspective. The study drew explicitly on Julia Brannen’s approach to life course transitions. Three focus group excerpts are presented and discussed to illustrate how focus group data can further the understanding of the ways in which a group of peers discuss the transition to work and especially future work–life balance. We show how focus group discussions about individual choice for future work and ‘life’ or ‘lifestyle’ can highlight shared assumptions of this birth cohort group as well as areas of disagreement and contention, rooted in both individual experiences and societal and socio-cultural expectations. We relate this to Julia Brannen’s conceptualisation of the three different modalities which young people draw on to talk about the future.

Research GroupDiversity and Gender group
PublisherRoutledge
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
ISSN1364-5579
Publication dates
Print04 Mar 2014
Online20 Mar 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited27 Mar 2015
Accepted02 Jan 2014
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Social Research Methodology on 20/03/2014, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13645579.2014.892657

Additional information

Special Issue: Celebration of Julia Brannen’s Contribution to Research Methods

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2014.892657
LanguageEnglish
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