9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN20 Qualitative Methods

2009-09-05 13:30:00 2009-09-05 15:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 13:30 - 15:00 Analysing Qualitative Data Building II, C2.01

Is it worth to reach beyond the obvious? Selected issues of qualitative data analysis

The aim of the paper is to compare different levels of analysis and the possibilities of using various analytical perspectives, classical early steps in analysis and selected content analysis methods in particular, in the process of drawing conclusions. This comparison includes the level attainable by different analytical frameworks and the new look at the process of qualitative data analysis that extends classical approach. Moreover, the paper presents the outcome of the benefit-impediment analysis of applying the usage of selected advanced software in the analytical process.

The discussion about the usefulness of different content analysis methods and techniques is topical and pivotal, as a direct consequence of the fact that the vast majority of qualitative research do not go beyond a simple interpretation of the transcripts of interviews. Even if CAQDAS is widely used in this process, the advanced options and possibilities are rarely utilized. The ?plain? approach is dominant: simple coding, interpretation of the coded elements, and, sometimes, comparison of the frequencies of the codes. Therefore, it is worth to analyse existing propositions of the content analysis methods and techniques and answer the question, if they indeed cannot offer anything more to experienced qualitative researchers. Are they able to help, and provide new perspective or possibilities to reach a deeper level of analyses, to formulate revealing outcomes inaccessible without using them?

Hence, selected content analysis methods and techniques such as semantic, semiotic, and evaluative assessment analysis were used in the analysis of the transcripts of several dozen of in-depth interviews. These interviews conducted with the representatives of different generations are used as an exemplary material. They concern the intergenerational contacts and ties of a rural community in Poland (in the village in Silesia called Krzyzowa). The aforementioned methods and techniques were used with the assistance of MaxQDA and QDAMiner in, both, early steps in analysis, and further analysis.