12: Qualitative data analysis


Qualitative data comes in a variety of forms: text, images, sound and so on, which can be difficult for researchers to analyse confidently. This chapter begins by setting out how qualitative data can be prepared, for example by transcribing interview or focus group data, converting pictorial data to text or creating metadata records ready for analysis. This is followed by guidance on how to code the prepared data, using a coding frame or emergent coding, and an overview of the pros and cons of each method. Next, various ways of analysing qualitative data including content analysis, thematic analysis, discourse analysis and narrative analysis are outlined, followed by a real-life example of qualitative data analysis. Data synthesis is discussed briefly, and the chapter concludes with an update of the case studies followed by exercises, discussion questions and a debate topic.

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