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WELLER, Wivian. Discussion groups in the research with teenagers and youngsters: theoretical-methodological contributions and analysis of an experience with the method. Educ. Pesqui. [online]. 2006, vol.32, n.2, pp.241-260. ISSN 1517-9702. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-97022006000200003.
Working with groups of youngsters from social and intercultural contexts distinct from those of the researcher requires care and rigor in the procedure and choice of methods to be used in data collection, just as in the preparation for the fieldwork. Even so, the researcher will be confronted with codes of communication and lifestyles that are alien to him/her. The decoding of these systems demands a kind of immersion of the researcher into the medium studied, and a constant methodological control of the process of interpretation, so as to avoid biases and distorted statements about the social reality of the interviewees. In the last years, the number of theses and dissertations about childhood and youth has increased considerably. However, because of the need to comply with deadlines, or for attributing to the theoretical framework a higher level of importance, we seldom dedicate ourselves to reconstruct the trajectory followed during the phases of collection and analysis of the empirical data, and to justify our theoretical-methodological choices. The article reconstructs the path followed by a fieldwork carried out with youngsters in São Paulo and in Berlin, describes the instruments used to collect data, and analyzes the use of discussion groups as a research method that privileges interactions and the greater insertion of the researcher in the subjects' universe, thereby reducing the risk of mistaken interpretations about the medium researched.
Keywords : Qualitative research; Discussion groups; Focal groups; Adolescence; Youth.