This week was an amazing research week for me. I attended three focus groups for one of the agencies I am working with, to test a new beauty brand. The participants for these groups were middle class India women, some were married and others were not not. But the groups were all in Hindi and I understand most of what was said!
Other than being in Hindi, focus groups are run a bit differently here than the ones I have attended in the US. Here the people running the focus groups come to the participants (especially because these participants are young women). So the groups are held in a person's living room (basically someone rents their house out for a few hours to hold the focus group there, get paid to do so, and serves the participants and interviewers snacks and tea) and in the same neighborhood as the participants live. This means they do not have to travel far, so they spend as little time away from their family as possible, and are allowed to attend the groups, since many families do not like women traveling by themselves around Delhi. Also since the focus groups are in a house, the women are more comfortable. The home is women's space. An office building is a male space, and would be uncomfortable for women participants, as well as far away. I cannot go into the questions asked as they are for the agency I was working with. But the groups were facinating, and just interacting with this group/demographic of women and hearing what they had to say was enlightening and great for my research.