SAGE Research Methods Datasets Part 1

This dataset exemplar outlines the process of analysing focus groups. It uses transcripts from research undertaken with 14- to 17-year-olds in Wales. The process of analysis, including the coding, categorising and theming, took place during July 2015. The aim was to explore the way political issues and concerns contribute to conceptualisations of politics among young people living in Wales (United Kingdom), with a focus on the role of devolution. The data are provided by Dr Sioned Pearce from the Wales Institute for Social and Economic Research Data and Methods (WISERD) at Cardiff University.

In the run-up to the UK general election in May 2015 an eight-question survey on politics was completed by 508 14- to 17-year-olds in Wales. The results of the survey showed that the young people were informed and engaged in politics but felt unrepresented in a wide range of both ideological and material political concerns. In order to understand whether these concerns had any link with devolution – the statutory granting of powers from central government in Westminster, England to the subnational level in Wales – and to further unpick conceptualisations of politics, focus groups were used to interrogate “the grey areas” within the results and to extend the dialogue. Ethical approval was granted and in accordance with those standards, all young people who took part in the project were provided with information sheets and signed consent forms. The dataset will be of most use to those approaching the analysis and coding of focus groups centering on a particular topic or issue, in this case on devolution.