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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/9425

Title: Asking elaborate questions: focus groups and the management of spontaneity
Authors: Puchta, Claudia
Potter, Jonathan
Keywords: Question formats
Focus groups
Conversation analysis
Institutional talk
Market research
Issue Date: 1999
Publisher: © Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Citation: PUCHTA, C. and POTTER, J., 1999. Asking elaborate questions: focus groups and the management of spontaneity. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 3(3), pp. 314-335
Abstract: This paper analyzes question formats in a corpus of German market research focus groups. In particular, it identifies and studies the use of ‘elaborate questions’ (questions which include a range of reformulations and rewordings). The analysis highlights three functions of such questions in focus groups: (a) they are used to guide participants and head off trouble where the question type is ‘non-mundane’; (b) they help secure participation by providing an array of alternative items to respond to; (c) they guide participants to produce a range of opinion relevant responses. More generally, they help manage a dilemma between the requirement that the talk should be both highly focused on predefined topics and issues, and at the same time spontaneous and conversational. The analysis provides a range of interactional evidence for the pragmatic role of these formats.
Description: This article was published in Journal of Sociolinguistics [© Blackwell Publishing Ltd] and the definitive version is available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-9841/
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1111/1467-9481.00081
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/9425
Publisher Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-9481.00081/abstract
ISSN: 1360-6441
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Social Sciences)

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