Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Interpretive Political ScienceSelected Essays, Volume II$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

R. A. W. Rhodes

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786115

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786115.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 21 February 2019

On Focus Groups

On Focus Groups

(p.81) 5 On Focus Groups
Interpretive Political Science

R. A. W. Rhodes

Oxford University Press

This chapter suggests that focus groups are a useful ethnographic tool in the study of governing elites. Focus groups provide an alternative way of ‘being there’ when the rules about secrecy and access prevent participant observation. The chapter describes the job of prime ministers’ chiefs of staff before explaining the research design, the preparations for the focus group sessions, and the strategies used to manage the dynamics of a diverse group that included former political enemies and factional rivals. It outlines the approach to analysis and interpretation before reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of focus groups for research into political and administrative elites. It concludes that focus groups are a valuable tool for making tacit knowledge explicit, but they must be located in a broader framework and be part of a larger toolkit.

Keywords:   administrative ethnography, focus groups, prime ministers, chiefs of staff, Australia, interpretive political science, executive studies, political elites, elite ethnography

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .