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Analysis and write-up of qualitative data

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Analysis and write-up of qualitative data
TranscriptsObservations of nonverbalsContextual informationSpecifics of contactHistorical infoVerbatim of written material, speeches, etc.Info on observer
The problem with qualitative data
Often a mass of data with no rules for the researcher toapplyThere are no pre-defined categories, dimensions, etc. to tally upThe language used by interviewees, etc. has multiple meanings and interpretationsAnalysis is inherently subjective
Types of analysis
Dialectical analysisSearch for the most powerful conflicts in the dataMetaphor analysisIdentifiy metaphors and how they varyFantasy theme analysisLooks at the stories shared among people
Grounded theory and analysis
Grounded theory is the most common form of organized qualitative data analysisDeveloped as a means to bring rigor and therefore greater acceptance of qualitative methods in social science (sociology)
Grounded theory is:
“Aninductive, comparative, andinteractiveapproachtoinquiry thatoffersseveral open-endedstrategiesforconductingemergent inquiry.”Charnaz
Educational Research 2e: Creswell
How did grounded theory develop?
1967 Glaser and Strauss bookThe Discovery of Grounded Theory1990, 1998 Strauss and Corbin prescriptive form with predetermined categories and concerns about reliability and validity2000 Charmaz introduces “Constructivist” method
Educational Research 2e: Creswell
Key characteristics of grounded theory designs
A process approachTheoretical samplingConstant comparativemethodSeries of coding and recoding dataMemorandaTheorygeneration
Role of the researcher
The researcher serves as both data collection instrument and analysismethodThe two are linked—adjust data collection as analysis leads in certain waysThe researcher is trying to develop theory—inductionTheory built upward from the data (“grounded”), not downward from premises to theory to hypotheses to testingKeeps theory close to the dataAvoids imposing inappropriate theory on ‘reality’
Three stages:Open codingCoding line-by-line original data into codes that the researcher determines to be valuableExtremely subjectiveAxial codingCombining original codes into major categories and defining subcategories and their relations to the majorsRestricted codingIdentifying relationships among codes and categories
Educational Research 2e: Creswell
Zig-zag approach to data collection and analysis
Data Collection
Data Analysis
Close to SaturatedCategories
More RefinedCategories
TowardSaturation ofCategories
Coding for what is happening
So part of it has been good because I can see that I'm not the only one that has good days and bad days, everybody does.They might not be physical, as much as psychological, but everybody has kind of good days and bad days, as moods and things too.
Example fromCharnaz
Comparing Statements: Sara Shaw— Taking a broader view beyond self
So part of it has been good because I can see that I'm not the only one that has good days and bad days, everybody does.They might not be physical, as much as psychological, but everybody has kind of good days and bad days, as moods and things too
Comparing statements: NancySwensendealing with herillness on a bad day and her motherwith Alzheimer’s—Beingcaughtin chaos
And if I’m trying to get dinner ready and I’m already feeling bad, she’s in front of the refrigerator. Then she goes to put her hand on the stove and I got the fire on. And then she’s in front of the microwave and then she’s in front of the silverware drawer. And-and if I send her out she gets mad at me. That’s when I have really a really bad time.
Comparing responses to bad days: Marty— Dealingwith bad days
We’re [a friend who has multiple sclerosis] kind of like mutual supporters for each other. And when she has her bad days or when we particularly feel “poor me,” you know, “Get off your butt!” You know, we can be really pushy to each other and understandit.
Realizing that once bad days have become good days—John
What used to be bad days [laughing] now are good days …but the quality of things, I think, is declining, you know, from , say a couple of years ago when I didn’t think about it that much. And there would be isolated days when I had a lot of congestion and things like that. But that’s all.
“Eventually, new data . . . add little to the development of new descriptive categories. At this point, the categories are considered “saturated.” The researcher then reviews the theoretical memoranda and conceptualizes higher level (more abstract) generalizations that subsume the initial set of categories yet are grounded in them.”P. 282
Educational Research 2e: Creswell
“Memosare notes the researcher writes throughout the research process to elaborate on ideas about the data and the coded categories. In memos, the researcher explores hunches, ideas, and thoughts, and then takes them apart, always searching for the broader explanations at work in the process.”
The grounded theory generated in this manner reflects the researcher’s development of categories of meaning and the relationships she perceives among them. It should also provide some explanation for those relationships.Usually not “higher-order” theory, but “mid-level” theory
One test of the theory is to have the interviewees react to it. Does it make sense to them? Do they think it reflects the world as they see it?
The theory developed through this method should be compared to the scholarly literature to see how it fits within the field.Does it add, support, contradict? The researcher should provide his thoughts about how the grounded theory should be interpreted with regard to existing theory.
Write-up of a grounded theory study follows more of a narrative format than traditional quantitative research reports. While the concerns of the researcher that led to the study usually open the piece, they are often more closely tied to the researcher, personally, than in quantitative studies.
The discussion of the scene to be studied is often quite detailed, while a theoretical literature review is limited or absence. The methods and results are more integrated and the author will often discuss the evolution of her thinking over time, tying it to particular findings in narrative format—over time.
Evidence is often provided in direct quotes and examples, and the development of the researcher’s thinking over time is commonly revealed.The latter portion may discuss a comparison of the grounded theory with existing theory to a greater extent than is often the case.
Write-up and presentation
Provide a detailed description of the data collection methodsDescribe the subjects and context carefully
Educational Research 2e: Creswell
Evaluating a grounded theory study
Does the researcher gather extensive data so as to develop a detailed conceptual theory as well saturated in the data?Doesthe model emerge through phases of coding? (e.g. initial codes to more theoretically oriented codes or open coding to axial coding to selective coding)?
Does the study show how the researcher validated the evolving theory by comparing it to the data, examining how the theory supports or refutes existing theories in the literature, or checking theory withparticipants?Creswell
Educational Research 2e: Creswell
Evaluating a grounded theory study
Is there an obvious connection between the categories and the raw data?Is the theory useful as a conceptual explanation for the process being studied?Does the theory provide a relevant explanation of actual problems and a basic process?Can the theory be modified as conditions change or further data are gathered?





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Analysis and write-up of qualitative data