Visual focus groups: stimulating reflexive conversations with collective drawing

Ferrari, E. (2022) Visual focus groups: stimulating reflexive conversations with collective drawing. New Media and Society, (doi: 10.1177/14614448221136082) (Early Online Publication)

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In this methodological article, I introduce a qualitative research method, called the visual focus group (VFG), which incorporates a collective drawing task within the structure of a focus group. The VFG was specifically developed to support engaged research about how activists conceptualize the political role of technology, by stimulating participants to reflect on their unspoken assumptions about digital technologies. After reviewing the relevant literature on focus groups and graphic elicitation techniques, the article presents two types of VFGs: diagnostic and speculative. While diagnostic VFGs are primarily a research tool meant to enable researchers to assess how people envision technology, speculative VFGs encourage participants to imagine better digital technologies. I describe the structure of both types of VFGs and offer examples of their outputs; I then discuss the limitations of this method and propose other research topics for which it might be used.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by a Dissertation Award from the Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society (WFI), Villanova University, USA.
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ferrari, Dr Elisabetta
Authors: Ferrari, E.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:New Media and Society
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1461-7315
Published Online:22 November 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Author
First Published:First published in New Media and Society 2022
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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