About qualitative research
Thematic qualitative analysis
Theory-led thematic analysis
Our exploration of different research methods is now complete, and we are moving on to the other part of the research process: analysing the data. In many ways, the research method we use to collect information about something and the analytical method we use to make sense of that information are inextricably linked together: each one influences the other. There are as many ways of analysing data as there are of collecting it, and each one has its own requirements.
There are also, as we saw in Chapter 1, different philosophical approaches to the research process. Sometimes, the research we are undertaking is very specifically hypothetico-deductive in nature. We conduct our research to refute or confirm specific hypotheses, in order to verify or refute a specific theory. As a result, the data we collect will also be very specific in nature, and the way that we analyse them will reflect the exact question we are asking.
On other occasions, we may want to conduct research in areas where specific theories have not yet been developed, or in a context where we have reason to doubt the theories which exist and want to begin again from scratch. At such times, we are more likely to adopt an inductive approach, collecting data which are not constrained by specific hypotheses, but instead are open to new ideas or possible explanations. That type of data requires a different type of analysis: one which will be open to alternative possibilities.
In the first part of this book, we looked at ways of collecting data, and many of those approaches involved the collection of qualitative