Foundations in Qualitative Analysis

Key points

  • This seminar provides a comprehensive introduction to qualitative data analysis
  • Key issues are explored, such as the influence of ontoloy and epistemology on analytical methods
  • You will develop the analytical plan of your study combining your research questions, purpose statement, analytical method and study outcome
  • The seminar can be taken as a standalone unit or combined with another seminar, or any of the method courses or an NVivo course.

Foundations in Qualitative Data Analysis provides participants with a basic understanding of the concepts, components and phases shaping qualitative analysis. We open with an exposé of the problems and prejudices that have historically plagued qualitative analysis and of contemporary practices that feed perceptions about its lack of scientificity. The qualitative data analysis cycle is presented as an heuristic device that shows how qualitative analysis very often — if not always — occurs iteratively between the phases of data coding, pattern seeking and data visualisation. We then look at the relationship between qualitative analysis and other components of research design, research questions, research purpose and data collection. We discuss the influence of ontology and epistemology on the choice of analytical method and the forms of knowledge produced by different analytical methods. We examine four qualitative analysis methods widely used in the social sciences — namely, qualitative content analysis, thematic analysis, cross-case analysis and grounded theory — and look into the specificities and procedures of each in turn. The second half of the seminar consists of a workshop in which participants develop an analytical plan for their own research.

This is an introductory course on qualitative data analysis. Although no previous knowledge of qualitative data analysis is required, participants should have some familiarity with qualitative research.

Half-day from 9:00 to 13:00 or full-day from 9:00 to 17:00.

This course is taught by invitation only in universities, research centres or institutions.

Teaching methods
Lectures with guided exercises in which participants work on their own data or sample data.

Please email me for information on fees.

Combining seminars
This seminar is the first of a series of four seminars that also includes Coding Qualitative Data, Seeking Patterns in Qualitative Data and Presenting Qualitative Findings. The seminar can be taken alone or in conjunction with the other related seminars. It can also be taught before, after or simultaneously with the Introduction to NVivo or Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo courses.

This seminar was taught at

As a freelance methodologist, I train social scientists and humanitarian practitioners in qualitative analysis, decolonising research and participatory methodologies. I coach research teams, teach doctoral-level courses in method schools and I consult for humanitarian aid agencies worldwide.

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