The PSEHK was undertaken in two stages. Stage One involved qualitative research in the form of focus groups. Stage Two involved a questionnaire.
The aims of using focus group (FG) methodology are:
- To generate a list of the necessities of life in contemporary Hong Kong and to explore whether consensus could be reached on this list among participants
- To explore public perceptions of poverty and social exclusion
A purposive sampling method was adopted in order to collect various views of people from different socio-economic status. Five target groups include:
- Lone parents
- Couples with children
- Couples without children
- Single Adults
The selection of the participants from each FG was based on the Sample Selection Criteria, including family income status and other socioeconomic characteristics such as new arrival status, employment status, gender, age, housing tenure and household type.
Two pilot FGs were conducted with the undergraduate students from the Hong Kong Institute of Education for assessing the suitability of the topic guide and additional materials. Revisions were made for the formal FGs accordingly.
The FG materials include:
- Topic Guide
- About Your View — Two-page layout asking about participants views on poverty and social exclusion before the focus group interview
- Showcards — List of Necessities of Life, Social Spheres of Social Exclusion and Poverty Definitions are used to facilitate the discussion
- The Vignettes which are mainly drawn from the TV Series from Radio Television Hong Kong – Rich Mate Poor Mate II (2011), are applied to clarify participants’ judgments and to aid the exploration of sensitive topics related to disadvantaged and social exclusion
A total of 7 groups with 49 participants were recruited for formal FGs (see table below). Each formal FG lasted between 1 to 1.5 hours and was facilitated by a moderator and two note takers. Interviews were audio-recorded with participants’ informed consent. Full transcriptions were undertaken and Framework Analysis was used to analyse the data and recognise emerging patterns and themes.
|Group||Target Groups||Income status||No. of Participants|
|1||Lone and parents and couples with children||Low-income group||11|
|2||Lone parents||Low income groups||7|
|3||New Arrivals (Couples with children)||Low income groups||6|
|4||Single Adults||Low and non-low income groups||6|
|5||Elderly||Low and non-low income groups||8|
|6||Couples with and without Children||Non-low income groups||5|
|7||Elderly||Low and non-low income groups||6|