This book tackles the challenges of how to make sense of qualitative data. It offers students and researchers a hands-on guide to the practicalities of coding, comparing data, and using computer-assisted qualitative data analysis. Lastly, Gibbs shows you how to bring it all together, so you can see the steps of qualitative analysis, understand the central place of coding, ensure analytic quality and write effectively to present your results.

Thematic Coding and Categorizing


After reading this chapter, you should:

  • see the central role of coding in qualitative analysis;
  • see from the close examination of an example the importance of creating codes that are analytical and theoretical and not merely descriptive; and
  • know about two techniques that can be used to promote the move from description to analysis, constant comparison and line-by-line coding.

Codes and coding

Coding is how you define what the data you are analyzing are about. It involves identifying and recording one or more passages of text or other data items such as the parts of pictures that, in some sense, exemplify the same theoretical or descriptive idea. Usually, several passages are identified and they are then linked with a name for that idea – ...

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