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Chapter 15

Research Methods - Chapter 15.doc

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Western University
Sociology 2206A/B
Neil Holt

Research Methods Chapter 15: Analysis of Qualitative Data [Introduction] - Comes in the form of written words, phrases, photos, symbols - Rarely uses statistical analysis - More explicit – but no approach is widely accepted [Similarities between Qualitative and Quantitative] - Both infer from empirical details of social life - Conclusion reached by reasoning, simplifying data - Both anchor statements about the social world - Involves public method/process - Collect large amounts of data, describe it, document how they got and examined it - All analysis based on comparison - Compare internal evidence with related evidence - Look for patterns - Strive to avoid errors [Differences between Qualitative and Quantitative] - Quan. Choose from specialized, standardized set of analysis techniques - Quan. Analysis is highly developed based on math - Quan. Doesn’t begin data analysis until they have collected all the data and condensed into numbers - Quan. Researchers manipulate numbers that represent empirical facts to test theoretical hypotheses - Quan. Assume social life can be represented by numbers - Qualitative explanations are lower-level, less abstract theory - grounded in concrete details - Explanations are rich in detail, sensitive to context - Divided into 2 categories: - Highly unlikely - Plausible [Coding and Concept Formation] Conceptualization - Quantitative conceptualize in process before data collection - Qualitative form new concepts that are grounded in the data - Organize data into categories based on themes, concepts or similar features - Ideas and evidence are mutually independent - Quantitative data is coded after all data has been collected - Qualitative coding is organizing raw data into conceptual categories – then drawing links between themes - Coding 2 simultaneous activities: - Mechanical data reduction - Analytic Data Categorization - Open Coding: performed during first pass through recently collected data Research Methods Chapter 15: Analysis of Qualitative Data - Axial Coding: second pass through the data. Researcher begins with an organized set of initial codes or preliminary concepts. Reviews and examines initial codes and creates linkages between them - Selective Coding: scanning data and previous codes and determining a core category around which the remaining categories all “fit” - The narrative – Ideal Types: models or mental abstractions of social relations or processes - Qualitative researchers used ideal types in 2 ways: - Contrast Contexts – use ideal types to interpret data in a way sensitive to the context - Analogies – statement that two objects, th
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