Listening to young people: Mobility for future (EN)

Listening to young people: Mobility for future

2.2 Transnational focus groups The focus groups served to put the results of the quan- titative survey and the resulting open questions into context with young people’s subjective feedback. Young people from all participating countries were invited to take part in this qualitative part of the study. The aim was to explore their attitudes, opinions and ideas (cf. Nentwig-Gesemann 2010, p. 259).

The focus group sessions were each chaired by two researchers and/or student assistants from the Uni- versity of Hildesheim. No personal data were collected either while preparing for or holding the sessions. The young participants’ anonymity was protected in various ways, including asking them to use an alias when log- ging into the video conferencing system Big Blue But- ton. This way, no personal data (e.g., real names) had to be shared. At the beginning of the sessions, the par- ticipants were given a brief overview of the agenda and were again informed that participation was entirely vol- untary and that they could choose to withdraw without cause at any time. A guidance document was used during the sessions. The questions in that document were chosen on the basis of the quantitative survey and discussed in advance with IJAB’s project partners (cf. Kelle/Kluge 2010, p. 30 et seq.). They were designed to give the participants an opportunity to choose what they wanted to talk about, and inspire them to discuss some particularly notewor- thy or confounding outcomes of the quantitative survey. The analysis of the focus group discussions was per- formed in connection with the content analysis. This allowed for a methodologically controlled approach focused on predetermined criteria (cf. Mayring/Gahleit- ner 2010, p. 295). The analysis centred around a set of categories resulting from the quantitative survey, which in a first step were applied deductively to the materi- al to be interpreted (discussion transcripts). During a number of interpretation rounds involving other youth and mobility researchers from outside the project, the empirical material was examined intersubjectively both in the light of these categories as well as alongside a number of other aspects that only emerged during the focus group sessions.

Four transnational focus group sessions involving a total of 22 young people took place on two consecutive Saturdays.

with as many countries of origin as possible represent- ed in each group. To ensure that no age-related implicit intragroup hierarchies would impact on the discussion (cf. ibid., p. 105), two groups were formed with young people aged 15 to 19, the other two groups with 20- to 25-year-olds. Given that the focus groups were transna- tional, their countries of origin were entirely disregard- ed; only their statements were considered. The focus group participants were chosen by the partner organisations of LEMOCC. They shared the call for par- ticipants that had been prepared by the research team via their internal and external networks. The assump- tion is that this call mostly reached young people with an interest in (international) youth mobility and climate action. Throughout the entire study phase, the team kept in mind that any opinions relating to mobility in particular that the young respondents shared may have been coloured by the Coronavirus pandemic. Current youth research has found that pandemic-related restric- tions, including travel limitations, have presented young people with a multitude of challenges (for Germany, cf. Andresen et al. 2021), which have given rise to fears and concerns for the future, for instance.


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