PhD data techniques


In this section, I will describe how I have analyzed the data for this research, from breaking down the data into codes and themes to reassembling these into the presentation of results.

I will explain the analysis process for the videos and for the other sources of data in two separate sections, as the type of data was different for each.

Analytical Bricoleur

As the types of analysis I carried out for videos and written texts were different, I acted as what Sparkes and Smith (2014, p. 115) define as an ‘analytical bricoleur’, that is someone who uses different types of analysis, but maintains an epistemologically and ontologically coherent position.

I used visual analysis for the videos and thematic analysis for the notes derived from observing the videos, as well as from the interviews transcripts and the other written texts.

Thematic Analysis

‘Thematic analysis’, according to Sparkes and Smith (2014, p. 124-127), seeks patterns (themes) emerging from the data, but without trying to quantify them and ‘writing is openly part of the analysis’ (p. 125).

I found that, as I wrote the results, new ideas and connections between sets of data emerged, and indeed, as Maykut and Morehouse (1994, p. 145) posit, ‘writing up one’s research is part of the analytic process’.

Ongoing Activity Research

As with most qualitative research, the analysis was ‘conducted as an early and ongoing research activity’ (Maykut and Morehouse, 1994, p. 123), and the analysis began as soon as I started collecting the data, regardless of the type of data being analyzed. Indeed, as Marshall and Rossman (2010, p. 208) point out:

In qualitative studies, data collection and analysis typically go hand in hand to build a coherent interpretation. The researcher is guided by initial concepts and developing understandings that she shifts or modifies as she collects and analyzes the data.

Marshall and Rossman (2010)

This is exactly the process that I followed, and which is illustrated in Figure 7 from Brown (2001), showing that the most helpful approach for qualitative research is one where analysis and data collection feed into each other rather than being conducted in separated stages.

Figure 7 – Data Analysis Process (Brown 2001, p. 104)

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