SOCB05 – Lecture 10 – July 18 2013
Qualitative Data Analysis
Comparison with Quantitative Data Analysis
o Both infer from empirical research to reach conclusions
o Both involve both public data collection
o Both collect and describe large amounts of data
o Both involve comparisons
o Different types and numbers of analysis techniques
o Different starting points for data analysis
o Different relationships between data and social theory
o Different degrees of abstraction/distance from social life
Definition and Explanation
Non-numerical examination and interpretation of observations, for the
purposes of discovering underlying meanings and patterns of relationships.
No need to choose between idiographic/nomothetic technique
Divides explanations into 2 categories: highly unlikely and plausible
o Can eliminate an explanation by showing that a lot of evidence
Coding and Memoing
Coding: the development of concepts and categories to recognize themes.
o Refers to applying labels to strips of data that illustrate ideas and
concepts and to the continuing process of identifying, modifying and
refining concepts and categories that sustain emerging themes and
o Some people code line by line, by sentence or by paragraph.
o Writing of notes and ideas during data analysis about themes,
expectations. A reflexive explanation of how you’re analysing your
o Notes and commentaries concerning ideas, patterns and themes that
occurred during the coding process.
o Happens at the same time as coding.
o The researchers thoughts, interpretations, questions, and directions
o Used for:
Identifying a specific aspect of the excerpt that is worth
Note its pattern, significant or uniqueness.
Comment on variations and/or interconnection among repeated
Pose unanswered questions
Types of Coding Open Coding
o Location of ideas within the data.
o Very little analysis is happening at this level.
o Open to all possibilities, everything you see is fair game, and try to
identify as many themes and ideas as you can.
o The researcher is developing links among codes, coming up with
o Not yet interested in themes, more interested in how things relate to
o Developing a refined list by either taking things out, or finding
umbrella terms for things that are simi