Coding, Thematic Analysis and Transcription
19 March 2014
- what is coding?
- since coding is an important and sometime most difficult phase of qualitative data analysis
- several examples will be provided to illustrate how coding is done
- however, the coding methods shown are not the only way to go about coding qualitative data
ad there are several methods
- coding is the process of examining the raw qualitative data (which will be in the form of words,
phrases, sentences or paragraphs) and assigning codes or labels
- Strauss and Corbin (1990) identified the following types of coding: axial coding and
- open coding and axial coding:
- open coding – you “sweep” through the data and mark (by circling or highlighting) sections of
the text selected codes or labels
- for example, you circle words or phrases describing violent criminal victimization (ex.
kicked, punched, stabbed, etc.
- axial coding – eventually, you have a large number of codes and you will find it necessary to
sort them into some sort of order or into groups and this is called axial coding
- two common types of axial coding are: non-hierarchical or hierarchical
- non hierarchical: for example, in a study the researcher asked a group of adults how they take
a break from their normal world
- the responses are grouped are grouped as follows in a non-hierarchical manner (flat coding:
- codes/labels theme/category
- several codes group together as types or kinds of something
- you need to put some of the codes or labels into a group of their own or make them sub-codes
- i.e. a hierarchical arrangement of codes, like a tree, a branching arrangement of sub-
- ideally, codes in a tree relate to their parents by being “examples of…” or ‘contexts
‘causes of…’ or ‘settings for…’ and so on
- for example, a researcher was doing a study on “friendship” and asked a group of adults their
views on the topic…………………..
- whenever you find a meaningful segment of text in a transcript, you assign a code or label to
signify that particular segment
- you continue this process until you have segmented all of your data and have completed the
- next, you find the relationships between the codes or labels and group them into themes or
- what to look for:
- when coding, you usually have some codes already in mind and are also looking for other
ideas that seem to arise out of the data
- you should ask the following questions about the data you are coding: - what is going on?
- what are people doing?
- what is the person saying?
- what do these actions and statements take for granted?
- how do structure and context serve to support, maintain, impede or change these
- coding is the process of examining the raw qualitative data which will in the form of words,
phrases, sentences or paragraphs) and assigning CODES or labels
- open coding – you “sweep” through the data and mark (by circling or highlighting) s