Focus groups and critical social IS research: How the choice of method can promote emancipation of respondents and researchers.

De Montfort University Open Research Archive

Show simple item record Stahl, Bernd Carsten, 1968- LeRouge, Cynthia Tremblay, Monica 2011-05-10T10:57:40Z 2011-05-10T10:57:40Z 2011
dc.identifier.citation Stahl, B.C., Tremblay, M. and LeRouge, C. (2011) Focus Groups and Critical Social IS Research: How the Choice of Method Can Promote Emancipation of Respondents and Researchers. European Journal of Information Systems, 20 (4), pp. 378-394 en
dc.identifier.issn 0960-085X
dc.identifier.issn 1476-9344
dc.description.abstract Critical social research in information systems has been gaining prominence for some time and is increasingly viewed as a valid research approach. One problem with the critical tradition is a lack of empirical research. A contributing factor to this gap in the literature is the lack of agreement on what constitutes appropriate methodologies for critical research. The present paper contributes to this debate by exploring the role that focus group research can play in the critical approach. This paper outlines the main characteristics of critical research with an emphasis on its emancipatory faculties. It then reviews the focus group method from the perspective of critical approach and provides a critical account of two research projects that used focus groups as a method of data collection. The paper presents the argument that focus groups, if designed and executed in light of a critical approach, can contribute to the emancipation of researchers and respondents. This argument is built upon the critical theories of the two most influential theorists in critical social information systems research, namely Ju¨rgen Habermas and Michel Foucault. Critically oriented focus groups have the potential to improve communication and move real discourses closer to Habermas’s ideal speech situation. At the same time, they can contribute to challenging the prevailing orthodoxy and thereby overcome established regimes of truth in the Foucauldian tradition. The paper ends by developing a set of guiding questions that provide a means for researchers to ensure that the emancipatory potential of focus group research can be achieved. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Palgrave en
dc.subject critical social research en
dc.subject focus groups en
dc.subject research methodology en
dc.subject information systems approach en
dc.title Focus groups and critical social IS research: How the choice of method can promote emancipation of respondents and researchers. en
dc.type Article en
dc.researchgroup Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility en
dc.peerreviewed Yes en
dc.ref2014.selected 1367395509_0310680083410_11_3

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