Putcha Potter - Asking elaborate qustions JSociolinguistics 1999.pdf (544.58 kB)
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Asking elaborate questions: focus groups and the management of spontaneity

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journal contribution
posted on 01.03.2012, 14:18 by Claudia Puchta, Jonathan Potter
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.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

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

Publisher

© Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

1999

Notes

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/

ISSN

1360-6441

Language

en