After collecting qualitative data from in-depth interviews, focus groups, or field observations, students and researchers often struggle to make sense of it. This step-by-step guide draws on the authors' many years of experience carrying out qualitative research and conducting trainings on the subject. Their book describes how to analyze qualitative data in a systematic and rigorous way. The authors introduce and outline applied thematic analysis, an inductive approach that draws on established and innovative theme-based techniques suited to the applied research context. Chapters follow the sequence of activities in the analysis process and also include discussions of mixed methods, choosing the most appropriate software, and how to write up and present the results.

“This book presents what all of the books I've tried to use in the past have failed to present—how to analyze qualitative data.”—Catherine C. Schifter, Temple University

“This book does a wonderful job of explaining how important thematic analysis is for producing good research, and it uses rich and detailed examples to do it.”—Matthew Hartley, University of Pennsylvania

Supplemental Analytic Techniques

Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Perform word searches and key-word-in-context analyses to inform thematic analyses
  • Make an informed decision about if and how a deviant/negative case analysis can inform a larger thematic analysis
  • Explain the unique analytic characteristics of focus group data

This book focuses on the most common form of qualitative data analysis—inductive generation and interpretation of themes. The preceding chapters address the core aspects of applied thematic analysis—planning, coding data, and enhancing reliability of procedures and credibility of findings. However, as we emphasized in the first chapter, our approach to data analysis utilizes whatever analytic tools help achieve a given analytic objective. In this chapter we describe some of the more common techniques used to enhance, or supplement, thematic ...

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