The purpose of this paper is to report on and evaluate focus groups and privacy diary/interview methods used in a qualitative study of on‐line privacy.
The paper is a discursive evaluation of two methods employed to study on‐line privacy, informed by and situated in interpretive and constructivist approaches to knowledge.
The paper argues for the value of qualitative research methods in study of on‐line privacy. It confronts the positivist paradigm that informs much of the work in the field by foregrounding the need for methodological plurality in the study of privacy as relational, situated, dynamic and contextual. It deals with the notion of “sensitivity” as well as introducing often neglected issue of logistical challenges in qualitative research.
The paper contributes to the existing debates about the value of employment of qualitative research methods broadly, as well as in the study of on‐line privacy more specifically. It demonstrates a range of advantages and challenges in use of the two methods, providing recommendations of how to supplement them. It opens up the discussion of process of sensitizing of the participants and thus the “co‐construction” of knowledge.
Bogdanovic, D., Dowd, M., Wattam, E. and Adam, A. (2012), "Contesting methodologies: Evaluating focus group and privacy diary methods in a study of on‐line privacy", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 208-221. https://doi.org/10.1108/14779961211285854
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