SAGE Journal Articles
SAGE journal articles and other additional readings have been carefully selected by the author to accompany each chapter. Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.
The growth in qualitative research is a well-noted and welcomed fact within the social sciences; however, there is a regrettable lack of tools available for the analysis of qualitative material. There is a need for greater disclosure in qualitative analysis, and for more sophisticated tools to facilitate such analyses. This article details a technique for conducting thematic analysis of qualitative material, presenting a step-by-step guide of the analytic process, with the aid of an empirical example. The analytic method presented employs established, well-known techniques; the article proposes that thematic analyses can be usefully aided by and presented as thematic networks. Thematic networks are web-like illustrations that summarize the main themes constituting a piece of text. The thematic networks technique is a robust and highly sensitive tool for the systematization and presentation of qualitative analyses.
Theme identification is one of the most fundamental tasks in qualitative research. It also is one of the most mysterious. Explicit descriptions of theme discovery are rarely found in articles and reports, and when they are, they are often relegated to appendices or footnotes. Techniques are shared among small groups of social scientists, but sharing is impeded by disciplinary or epistemological boundaries. The techniques described here are drawn from across epistemological and disciplinary boundaries. They include both observational and manipulative techniques and range from quick word counts to laborious, in-depth, line-by-line scrutiny. Techniques are compared on six dimensions: (1) appropriateness for data types, (2) required labor, (3) required expertise, (4) stage of analysis, (5) number and types of themes to be generated, and (6) issues of reliability and validity.
A key task in conducting research integration studies is determining what features to account for in the research reports eligible for inclusion. In the course of a methodological project, the authors found a remarkable uniformity in the way findings were produced and presented, no matter what the stated or implied frame of reference or method. They describe a typology of findings, which they developed to bypass the discrepancy between method claims and the actual use of methods, and efforts to ascertain its utility and reliability. The authors propose that the findings in journal reports of qualitative studies in the health domain can be classified on a continuum of data transformation as no finding, topical survey, thematic survey, conceptual/thematic description, or interpretive explanation.