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Qualitative Techniques Used in Elections

Autor:   •  December 4, 2018  •  3,294 Words (14 Pages)  •  5 Views

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The focus groups

Focus group is another popular qualitative technique, especially among scholars who are interested in investigating issues that have impacts on a large population or the public in their natural settings such as regional elections. In this technique, the scholar divides his population into subgroups widely referred to as focus groups to evaluate and examine a particular topic mainly because of the differences in the population being studied. Nevertheless, focus group technique combines two other techniques to ensure that the scholar delivers relevant results and have utilized their time and resources effectively and efficiently. As a result, the scholar needs to interview the population about their feelings and views regarding the regional election process as well as observe occurrences, events, and behaviors of all individuals and parties involved in the study (Kunjachan, 2014). Given the variances in the population used in any study such as education background of the population, group dynamics, and religious background as well as social and economic background, the scholar is bound to obtain precise information compared to other techniques since he or she divides the population by their characteristics and expertise. Considering that regional election would involve several individuals in one session, and the election matters are of public interest, focus group qualitative technique is bound to give the best results.

It is collect to say that focus groups can be appropriate in examining the social nature of human interactions as he carries out his daily duties as well as performing important social activities such as regional elections. Unlike other qualitative techniques, focus groups can provide quality control because the respondents in each focus group attempt to balance each other and thus, helps to eliminate Any biases as well as undesirable extremeness that may influence the outcome of the study. Given the fact that interview in the focus group is conducted on an open floor, there a high likelihood that the participants as well as the respondents will enjoy, will not fear and will help one another whenever another person is unable to respond to a particular question (Leech, 2009). As a result, there is a little or no persuasion from the scholar for the respondents to answer a particular question since they answer and respond to questions willingly.

Notably, the success of any focus group widely depends on the way the researcher or the scholar develops it as well as the experiences of the population used in the study. The researcher is presented with a golden opportunity and platform to investigate and evaluate all the participants of the study when the voters gather at a polling station which might be a room or a hall to cast their votes. Moreover, the observer may go a step further to offer drinks and refreshments to the participants as he conducts the study as a way o encouraging participation from all corners of the study (Scholtz, 2010). However, accurate and appropriate results cannot be obtained if the topic at hand is not thoroughly scrutinized and addressed by the participants. Therefore, the scholar should give all the participants an opportunity to express their feelings without holding anything back whether positive or negative. The topic selected to be discussed in this case the regional elections acts as the road map of the discussion and the interview, and both the scholar and other participants should give each member an opportunity to give out their views. In selecting members to participate in an important issue that has significant impacts on the society such as regional elections, efforts should be made by the scholar to ensure that all groups in the country or the society are well represented in the focus groups to avoid any biases or favoritism.

Interview

Interviews are widely conducted on both individual matters as well as public matters to get an insight of what individuals and groups feel about certain phenomenon and issues in the society. Given the importance of regional election in any country, particularly the United States, it is certain that each and every individual will have different opinion and feelings towards the election. Therefore, interviewing different people will give varied results that can be used to make a sound conclusion concerning regional elections. The interview basically involves a conversation with two or more individuals, whether the interviewer poses relevant and structured questions to the interviewee with the intention of getting facts and the truth regarding the topic at hand (Roy, 2009). Often, the interview takes place on a face-to-face basis, where the roles of both the interviewer and the interviewee change continually as the situation requires especially when it comes to talking.

An interview can be conducted by a researcher who attempts to get the full perception of the people as well as their reaction to the election process. It is worth noting that there is a slight difference between a focus group and an interview basically because the interview conducted in a focus group involves large respondents who answer the questions simultaneously while in an interview there are few numbers compared to a focus group. Due to the privacy and no interference nature of the interview, there is a high probability that the scholar will obtain proper perception and impression of how regional elections were conducted. During the interview the researcher, in this case, the interviewer encourages the respondent, in this case, the interviewee to speak freely and give honest answers regarding the subject matter. Moreover, the manner in which the interviewer asks the questions should follow a chronological manner to ensure that the interviewee is not confused at any point of the interview (Bryman, 2011). Thus, the interviewer must plan and structure his or her interview questions prior to conducting the interview to make sure that the topic is well covered and well scrutinized. In our case, the interview should revolve around the monitoring, execution, as well as establishment of how well and appropriate the regional election, were conducted. Moreover, the respondents should be in a position to suggest any improvements that they feel should be incorporated in the next regional elections to enhance and improve the integrity and transparency of the whole processes as well as results of the elections.

During the designing and planning for the interview, the researcher should strive to create and form questions that are directly related to the primary topic and questions that improve the probability of yielding relevant data to get views perception regarding the election process. Moreover, the researcher should

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