Analyzing Qualitative Data

Analyzing Qualitative Data

Analyzing Qualitative Data

Analyzing Qualitative Data


This major inter-disciplinary collection, edited by two of the best respected figures in the field, provides a superb general introduction to this subject. Chapters include discussions of fieldwork methodology, analyzing discourse, the advantages and pitfalls of team approaches, the uses of computers, and the applications of qualitative data analysis for social policy. Shrewd and insightful, the collection will be required reading for students of the latest thinking on research methods.


There are now numerous texts and sets of readings attempting to give guidance to researchers about the styles and strategies that can be used in qualitative research. While much has been written about the collection of data, the books are often silent about the processes and procedures associated with data analysis.

Indeed, much mystery surrounds the way in which researchers engage in data analysis. Accordingly, we invited a range of social scientists who have engaged in qualitative projects to discuss the approaches that they used. The idea was to contribute insight and understanding to the process of qualitative data analysis rather than to produce a guidebook for the intending researcher. Such a task involves a process of demystification, of making implicit procedures more explicit. While this may sound straightforward, we have found this far from simple. In these circumstances we have given our contributors the opportunity to present their work in a range of styles which include autobiographical accounts and more impersonal forms.

This book has been a long time in the making and we are most appreciative of the support and forbearance we have received from our authors and from Chris Rojek at Routledge. In the end, we hope that this volume will be a contribution to a developing literature on qualitative data analysis which will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as researchers who engage in qualitative research. If these essays help to demystify qualitative data analysis and encourage research novices to explore a range of analytic approaches, they will have achieved a major aim of producing this book.

Finally, we wish to thank Su Powell and Sylvia Moore who have made numerous contributions to the preparation of this manuscript, for which we are very grateful. As always, any errors or omissions are our own.

Alan Bryman

Robert G. Burgess

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