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The Focus Group Method in Practical Ecclesiology: Performative Effects and Ecclesiological Rationale

In: Ecclesial Practices
Author:
Henk de Roest Protestant Theological University, Oude Ebbingestraat 25, 9712 haGroningen, The Netherlands, hpderoest@pthu.nl

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The author gives an analysis of the methodological advantages and disadvantages of using focus groups in practical ecclesiology. He makes a plea for including focus groups in a mixed method strategy in practical ecclesiological research, being attentive to their performative effects. He asks, if ecclesiology governs the methodological design of a practical-ecclesiological research project, should not methods that focus on conversational practices and how people build up a view out of the interaction that takes place within a group, be pulled into the heart of the research? In his reply to this question, the article gives a relational-constructionist, an ecclesiological and a theological rationale for using focus groups.

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