The overall emphasis of this course is on the interpretive and thematic analysis of qualitative data. Thematic analysis is a generic form of analysis, suitable of all disciplines and methods. Qualitative research generates a phenomenal amount of data and it can be overwhelming at times knowing how to deal with it. Similarly, data analysis approaches are diverse, sometimes confusing and overlapping, and are not always clearly defined in terms of the steps required to achieve rigorous and reliable results. This course aims to provide a path through all the confusion. Through a combination of lectures, discussions, and practical sessions, the course covers: the logic of qualitative research, a variety of analysis styles, the practicalities of managing and coding data, and the preparation of clear results for specific audiences. Note: the course does not cover writing up.
By the end of the workshop, participants will
- Have knowledge and critical awareness of diverse types of qualitative data analysis, especially thematic analysis
- Acquire a critical appreciation of what thematic analysis is and how it fits as an approach to analyzing qualitative data
- Have practical knowledge of the process of thematic analysis
- Have discursive knowledge of the role of thematic analysis in generating rigorous and valid reports
- Have practical knowledge of (some of) the steps in data management, coding and preparation
- Be equipped to undertake independent analysis of qualitative data using interpretive, thematic analysis
- The iterative-inductive nature of qualitative analysis
- A quick overview of different types of qualitative data analysis: thematic, discourse, content, grounded theory, narrative and ethnographic analysis
- Data management and storage (including, briefly, computer software)
- Main steps in thematic analysis
- Coding: open, inductive, deductive and focused coding
- The role of theory in interpretive thematic analysis
- Memo-writing or diagramming
- Pulling it all together in preparation for writing
Who will benefit?
This course is suitable for those new to qualitative data analysis, but it is expected participants will have prior experience of qualitative research, or will have received at least introductory training in qualitative methods. Participants at the early, middle or final stages of a qualitative research project who need some help achieving rigorous and careful analysis will benefit. However, it is far better to think about qualitative analysis before you start a project if possible. The course is appropriate for those whose data are (or will be) in the form of transcripts, field notes, documents, images, internet pages, and/or audio or video recordings.
Karen O'Reilly is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Loughborough University and a Freelance Researcher. She has taught ethnographic and qualitative methods for over 25 years, including the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Collection and Analysis, the Swiss Summer School in Social Science Methods, in Lugano; at the Universities of Aberdeen, Essex, Loughborough and Oxford; and in Germany, Norway and Hong Kong. Her experience also includes being a Member of the Advisory Board of the NCRM biannual Research Methods Festival 2011-2012; and a member of the ESRC Peer Review College 2012 – 2016.
Karen is a highly experienced ethnographer whose many publications include two widely cited books on ethnography: Ethnographic Methods (Routledge, 2nd ed. 2012) and Key Concepts in Ethnography (Sage, 2009). She has also been instrumental in the design and evaluation of Masters level Research Methods courses and programmes in a number of universities. Karen provides short courses for the SRA on a regular basis.
This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme