Focus groups as transformative spiritual encounters

Moloney, Sharon (2010) Focus groups as transformative spiritual encounters. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 10 (1). pp. 58-72.

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Focus groups are a valuable method for exploring the construction and negotiation of meanings. In her doctoral research the author explored how Australian women's experiences of menstruation, birth, and spirituality are invested with meaning and how that meaning influences and shapes those experiences. The focus group has been described as a potentially liminal space, which enables the discussion of taboo subjects by breaking the ice and giving people permission to comment. In addition, she discovered that the groups could be occasions of empowerment and transformation for both participants and researcher. In a way that far exceeded her expectations, the group format was ideally suited to feminist research and the organic inquiry methodology she used. Some groups became deeply spiritual encounters that were nourishing and transformative for all. This article explores how focus groups can be vehicles of spiritual transformation, examining one group in particular to highlight the points raised.

Item ID: 17949
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1609-4069
Keywords: focus groups, feminist research, women's spirituality, menstruation, birth, organic inquiry
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© 2011 Moloney. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2011 01:21
FoR Codes: 22 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 2299 Other Philosophy and Religious Studies > 229999 Philosophy and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies @ 100%
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