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.

Comparative Analysis


After reading this chapter, you should:

  • see that once you have created a few codes, you can begin to organize them hierarchically;
  • know that this is both a practical and an analytical activity;
  • see that it also helps with making comparisons, especially using tables;
  • understand that tables are a good way of undertaking case-by-case, code against code and chronological comparisons;
  • know that through such comparisons, you can build up a deeper understanding of your data, construct typologies and develop models; and
  • know about some strategies that will help you develop novel theory about your data.

Coding hierarchy

After grouping the codes as I described in Chapter 4, it is only a small step to arrange them into a coding hierarchy. Codes that are similar kinds of things or that ...

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