SOCI2000 5.0 Qualitative Analysis: Introduction + Motivation

Lecture Slides

Week 5 Lecture Slides

Video Lecture (from 2019)


Qualitative data
Basic Tools
Thematic analysis
Open coding
Axial coding
Selective coding
Analytic memo
Writing up
Advanced Tools
Inductive theorising
Deductive theorising
Analytic comparison
Narrative & sequence analysis

Opening Stories

Story 1: The lawyer and social scientist

Lawyers ask: “What in this evidence supports our theory?” They cherry pick data to make their argument.

Social scientists ask “What theory does this evidence support?” They look at the whole data, and try to objectively ask what theories the data best supports.

Story 2: Students who did qualitative and quantitative projects

In early years of teaching this course, students could pick whether they did EITHER qualitative OR quantitative data collection and analysis.

Only about 20% of quantitative studies found what they thought they would find. BUT about 80-90% of qualitative studies found what they thought they would find.

Why? Easier to fool yourself with qualitative data.

Solution? You need to be skeptical, logical, and really test one another to make sure the evidence says what you think it says.

Why learn qualitative analysis?

There is a huge amount of qualitative data in the world

  • Newspaper articles, in depth interviews, archival records, field notes, pictures and art, TV shows, Shakespeare’s plays, and more.

Not immediately obvious how we can systematically analyse this

  • We can’t use maths and stats

One main method - thematic analysis - and you need to use it for projects.

Last updated on 13 April, 2020 by Dr Nicholas Harrigan (