Focus groups, feminist research and farm women: Opportunities for empowerment in rural social research

Focus groups, feminist research and farm women: Opportunities for empowerment in rural social research Journal Article

Journal of Rural Studies

  • Author(s): Pini, B.
  • Published: 2002
  • Volume: 18

Abstract: This paper uses data from a doctoral study examining women's involvement in the Australian sugar industry to argue that focus groups are a valuable method for feminist rural social research. Sixteen initial and follow up focus groups conducted with 80 women were not just valuable for the production of raw data, they were also valuable in addressing feminist research goals. Using extracts from the focus groups, four examples of their effectiveness as a feminist research method are examined. That is, focus group participation made what is invisible to many women visible; it enabled connections to be made between individual and collective experiences; it facilitated challenges to dominant beliefs; and it provided space for discussion and reflexivity about gender issues. The paper concludes by arguing that the potential of focus groups as an empowering strategy for participants is not just of importance to feminist scholars, but to all rural social researchers who are interested in engaging less hierarchical research relationships, in producing knowledge which is contextualised, and in contributing to political and social change.

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Suggested Citation
Pini, B., 2002, Focus groups, feminist research and farm women: Opportunities for empowerment in rural social research, Volume:18, Journal Article, viewed 10 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=4135.

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