Delving Into Blogs: An Online Analysis of Temporary Marriage

Abstract

Within the Middle East and North Africa, a temporary marriage is a short-term arrangement that does not come with a long-term commitment. Some temporary marriages stipulate the total time of the marriage, while others do not. This case study discusses the author’s experiences and lessons learned from conducting a content analysis of blogs on temporary marriage experiences. Given the socially stigmatized nature of temporary marriage, anonymous blogs provide one of the few means of gathering data on this under-studied practice. This case study specifically illustrates the strengths of the open coding process for analyzing topics without a substantial literature to draw on, as well as paying particular attention to the need to consider how manifest and latent data will be used in content analysis where data ambiguity is high. However, the authors also discuss the important restraints that accompanied this methodology and the measures taken to maintain reliability and validity and to minimize bias. The authors conclude that these exploratory projects, while not developing firm causal explanations, are still useful in methodological development and will ideally trigger future research.

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