Multimodal Performance and Interaction in Focus Groups

Kristin Enola Gilbert | Elmhurst University
Gregory Matoesian | University of Illinois at Chicago
ISBN 9789027208378 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027260208 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
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Focus group interviews have seen explosive growth in recent years. They provide evaluations of social science, educational, and marketing projects by soliciting opinions from a number of participants on a given topic. However, there is more to the focus group than soliciting mere opinions. Moving beyond a narrow preoccupation with topic talk, Gilbert and Matoesian take a novel direction to focus group analysis. They address how multimodal resources – the integration of speech, gesture, gaze, and posture – orchestrate communal relations and professional identities, linking macro orders of space-time to microcosmic action in a focus group evaluation of community policing training. They conceptualize assessment as an evaluation ritual, a sociocultural reaffirmation of collective identity and symbolic maintenance of professional boundary enacted in aesthetically patterned oratory. In the wake of social unrest and citizen disillusionment with policing practice, Gilbert and Matoesian argue that processes of multimodal interaction provide a critical direction for focus group evaluation of police reforms. Their book will be of interest to researchers who study focus group interviews, gesture, language and culture, and policing reform.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“This book makes a significant contribution to the study of focus group interactions and its applications in applied sciences. Specifically, the book makes a novel contribution to the field by implementing linguistically-oriented methodology (i.e., microanalytic study of talk and interaction) to a specific sociocultural communicative setting between an institution—police, and citizens within an evaluative context. The book covers a wide range of disciplines as they discuss criminal justice within a program evaluative stance, from an interactive approach, and researchers and scholars of both language and criminal studies will benefit from reading it.”
Multimodal Performance and Interaction in Focus Groups is an insightful reading and offers an original take on how to analyse focus groups, considering them as deeply moral events that have practical implications to participants. In the context of community policing, it helps us to take a step back; before evaluating policing training, we should understand participants’ sense of community and how they achieve this by bringing different kinds of meaning-making resources together. Even though the authors do not explicitly mention a particular audience, the book will certainly benefit discourse scholars in a broader sense as well as those interested in conducting focus groups as part of their research. Additionally, the discussions generated about community and tensions involving police expertise and jurisdiction may appeal to researchers studying police settings and practices, particularly those working closely with law enforcement.”
Cited by

Cited by 1 other publications

Butler, Robert
2024. Call for contributions to a special issue on multimodal representations of authority in discourse. Multimodality & Society DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 18 june 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Communication Studies

Communication Studies

Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009030: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Pragmatics
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2020047007 | Marc record