Qualitative Data Analysis

Some selected notes….

Neuman, W. L. (2006). Social Research Methods – Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (6th Edition). Boston: Pearson Education.

  • p460: “Qualitative resaearchers form new concepts ore refine existing concepts that are grounded in the data.”
  • p460: “A researcher organises the raw data into conceptual categories and creates themes or concepts”
  • Qualitative analysis as pattern recognition.
  • p. 461 “Open coding: A first coding of qualitative data in which a researcher examines the data to condense them into preliminary analytic categories or codes.”
  • p. 461 “Open coding is performed during a first pass through recently collected data.”
  • p. 462 “A second stage of coding of qualitative data in which a researcher organises the codes, links them and discovers key analytic categories”
  • p. 462 “During open coding, you focus on the actual data and assign code labels for themes. There is no concern about making connections among themes or elaborating the concepts that the themes represent. By contrast, in axial coding you begin with an organised set of initial codes or preliminary concepts. In this second pass you focus on the initial coded themes more than the data…. You move towards organizing ideas or themese and identify the axis of key concepts in analysis.”
  • Pg 463: “During axial coding, ask about causes and consequences, conditions and interactions, strategies and processes, and look for categories or concepts that cluster together.”
  • Pg 464 “Selective coding: A stage in coding qualitative data in which a researcher examines previous codes to identify and select data that will support the conceptual coding categories that were developed.
  • Pg 464: “Selective coding involves scanning all the data and previous codes. Look selectively for cases that illustrate themes and make comparisons and contrasts after most or all data collection is complete”

Saldana, J. (n.d.). The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers, Los Angeles: Sage

  • P. 6 “Hatch, (2002) offers that you think of patterns not just as stable regularities but as varying forms. A pattern can be characterised by:
    • similarity (things happen in the same way
    • difference (they happen in predictably different ways)
    • frequency (they happen often or seldom)
    • sequence (they happen in a certain order)
    • correspondence (they happen in relation to other activities or events)
    • causation (one appears to cause another) (p. 155)”
  • p. 7: “Merriam (1998) states, ‘our analysis and interpretation – our study’s findings – will reflect the constructs, concepts, language, models, and theories that structured the study in the first place’ (p. 48”
  • p. 7 “Coding is analysis” (Miles and Huberpan, 1994, p. 56)
  • As the analysis progresses one shifts from codes to categories, where by initial labels merge or split to form the themes of the study. Often these have subcategories, which may end up being many of the codes [my notes]
  • As the analysis progresses even further the analysis progresses towards the development of themes and concepts, that tend towards theory. [my notes]
  • p. 13. Thematic analysis: “A theme is an outcome of coding, categorisation, and analytic reflection, not something that is, in itself, coded”
  • p. 14. Things that may be coded include: cultural practices, episodes, encounters, roles, social and personal relationships, groups and cliques, organisations, settlements and habitats, subcultures and lifestyles. [not quote]
  • p. 14 Other elements include cognitive aspects or meanings, emotional aspects or feelings, hierarchical aspects or inequalities. [not quote]
  • P.18 Questions to consider as you code (from Emerson, Fretz, & Shaw (1995):
    • What are people doing? What are they trying to accomplish?
    • How exactly do they do this? What specific means and/or strategies do they use?
    • How do memebers talk about characterise, and understand what is going on?
    • What assumptions are they making?
    • What do I see going on here?
    • Whoat did I learn from these notes?
    • Why did I include them (p.146)”
  • P. 19 Coder may choose to “lump” and “split” data as needed [not quote]
  • Essential: keeping a codebook or code list
  • For large or complex datasets use CAQDAS for coding.


About matthewbower

Professor at Macquarie University.
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