Youve yet to uncover what you will discover and therefore you dont know what knowledge or theory will be relevant. The first group of interviews I opened, out of the three, was 500 pages. How would I feel if I was in that situation? In this stage, the researchers approach moves on from reading and familiarising into engaging critically and reflexively asking questions of yourself (remember, the self is a fundamental element of reflexive TA) and the data. In what different ways do they make sense of the topic? In the abstract of a theme, you should be able to explain the central organising principle, convey the uniqueness of the theme and how it will contribute to the overall analysis. It presupposes that there is an objective reality to be extracted from the data and reported on. In other words, the researcher should clearly be visible and for this reason, first-person language is recommended. Theres been some push back recently that it is possible to do grounded theory with no prior knowledge or hypothesis. I was relieved to read the following from Sarah. Rigour, because coding is a systematic interrogation of the data, identifying meaning and patterns across the dataset. Conclusions about practice what are the implications, if any, for how the findings should or could inform and alter practice? Thats not how we conceptualise themes, but we see that type of theme so much, especially in applied research.
Using data analytically involves an explicit integration of the data with the analysis, with specific elements of the data being commented upon the data. The journey analogy has reoriented my focus on the process the journey, the adventure, and all that it has to offer. Methodology: This section involves writing about what you did (descriptive) and why you choose the approach (analytical). I obtained a Masters in Attachment Studies 2018. When reviewing a qualitative paper using reflexive thematic analysis, the goal is to verify the study is adequately designed to answer the research question, not make sure it doesnt miss anything. Anything else to suggest? In addition, I would write notes to track certain thoughts whilst reading the interviews. How would I even begin to make sense of that?! Deductive/Inductive: codes would be informed by the hypothesis of the researchers and the theoretical framework. Firstly, it provides the reader an indication, and hopefully an enticing indication, as to the unique, informative analysis your paper will contain. The primary goal here is to immerse yourself in the data and become deeply familiar and intimate with it. Braun and Clarke write a theme captures the patterning of meaning across the dataset. However, theres no such thing as data saturation nor is there a strict guide about the quantity of data collected. By the end of this phase, you want to have established well-worked, sophisticated, and robust themes that provide a rich, nuanced, and engaging analysis that addresses your research question. Themes are iteratively developed from the coding. During CHI reviewing this year, Samantha and I noticed many references to thematic analysis used language and concepts Braun and Clarke have often disavowed. Analysis and interpretation under this conceptualisation can not make simple claims to truth or objectivity, Nevertheless, an analysis can be weak or strong. Braun and Clarke encourage researchers to be creative and playful during this process and identify a theme name that is informative, concise and catchy (p.111). New to qualitative methods, I analyzed a sample of qualitative papers published at CHI that year. Reflexive thematic analysis starts with a theme or research question and an approach to investigate it. Whereas a critical analysis focuses on a topic or issue and organizing the participants contribution around that. Braun and Clarke argue this concept is more adequate for Grounded Theory approaches or other versions of thematic analysis. Finally, Thomas General Inductive Approach for Analyzing Qualitative Evaluation Data is also sometimes used. Conclusions related to existing literature and knowledge how does this research contribute, add something new, or differ from pre-existing knowledge? Heres a summary of Braun and Clarkes concerns regarding uses of their approach to TA and how it applies to HCI research. Braun and Clarke describe reflexive thematic analysis (RTA) as a theoretically flexible method (4), for developing, analyzing and interpreting patterns across a qualitative dataset (p.4). As junior researchers, we found applying thematic analysis both easy (a way to annotate data) and difficult (there are theoretical and methodological ramifications we dont have a clear grasp on). Critical realist/constructionist: Finally, researchers might want to make a claim about the objectivity of peoples experiences as they report it (critical realist) or they might frame it as a study into how people perceive a situation (constructionist). To do justice and to honour the participants and your own contribution to this research allow this final, important stage sufficient time. What assumptions do they make in describing the world? Whilst I did so, I highlighted certain sections, especially around the professionals response to domestic abuse, primarily because this is an area I am interested in. Experiential Critical: An experiential analysis focuses on the participants voice, drawing out and highlighting their lived experiences and perspectives. Braun and Clarke prefer the latter, positing that they are more able to engage productively with the material when read as a hard copy compared with electronically. As an extension of phase three, phase four provides an opportunity to review, check and adjust the themes. Phase 6: Writing up: Arriving home and telling a story about your adventure (p.118). the . Theres a topic in the data, and the theme becomes everything participants said about it.
A reflexive account of the researcher, methodological approach, and situational nature of the research can be unconvincing, superficial (i.e., weak), or compelling and characterised by depth and thoughtfulness (i.e., strong). Since 2017 I have been undertaking community based parenting assessments. Instead of showing that you have found a piece of truth that the rest of humanity has yet to discover, you take a more modest, yet equally valuable approach, of providing a rich, contextualized, compelling representation of a certain issue. That type of analysis doesnt tell a thematic story. Does it have clear boundaries? (p.84). The latter issue can occur if the researcher, without awareness, projects an idea or a theme that they want to identify from the data. During the early stages, the goal is to engage with the data and codes to generate multiple plausible themes that have potential, especially pertaining to the research question. Including data extracts serve two important functions. Whilst it is possible to generate more themes that you will eventually use, Braun and Clarke recommend that for an 8000-word report two-six themes will suffice. Many thanks to Ignacio Avellino and Tom Giraud for their comments and edits. If you have found this interesting/useful, you may wish to consider scrolling down further, and join a growing community of 280+ others in signing up for free blogs to be sent directly to your inbox (no advertisements/requests/selling). Braun and Clarke point to Boyatzis (1998) as a good example of this approach. A theme doesnt have to capture everything in the data; however, each theme should have a central organising concept, and preferably be distinctive, bounded and be able to stand out alone. It might also mix these approaches, hence the coding. Instead, the relevance and applicability to the research question is crucial. In the initial stages of the process, the codes that have identified a single idea can be clustered together when there is some shared meaning. This first phase involves two stages. This is closer to quantitative approaches, in that it attempts to eliminate researchers biases and emphasizes replicability as a main indicator of quality.
Thematic Analysis: A Practical Guide (2021). In some sense, you are describing your journey of exploration and discovery, however, the process of writing this is also explorative and thus is the final part of your adventurous journey. Weve included more resources at the end of this article. As part of this 12-month position, I am involved in undertaking some research with Robbie and Sarah Foster, a collaborator based at Northumbria University.
(p.76). As pointed out by the authors, you need to be psychologically ready for a rich, unexpected, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately achievable adventure (p.76). Coding facilitates insight because it requires purposeful, critical engagement with the data. I managed to read approximately half of all the interviews during this time. Establishing the gap model versus making the argument model, Published by Richard Devine's Social Work Practice Blog, The Case for Change: How to Help Children andFamilies, 5 points about the tragic death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes (we are unlikely to hear in themedia), Richard Devine's Social Work Practice Blog. Braun and Clarke provide several tips for selecting extracts: Select rich and engaging extracts. What kind of world is revealed through their account? Braun and Clarke do provide rules of thumb regarding the number of interviews or research data in their guide for beginners minimum four or five dense interviews for a paper. Let us know in the comment below! Firstly, it provides an evidential basis for your analytical claims and secondly, allows the reader to evaluate the validity of the claims made based on the source data. Wasnt research supposed to be objective? Reflexive thematic analysis is not theory-agnostic. 4 Domains of Reflexive Thematic Analysis: Braun and Clarke outline 4 domains of reflexive thematic analysis (orientation to data, focus of meaning, qualitative framework, theoretical frameworks) and each one reflects orientations to data. https://sociodesign.hypotheses.org/555. Braun and Clarkes book also partially disabled my inclination to be caught up with achieving an outcome getting to an endpoint which inevitably results in dissatisfaction with the present (all that there ever is). The result of the analysis is a theme explaining peoples experiences, perceptions, views or representations of a given topic. A recognition of the gift of their time and attention (p.118). This includes documenting how you integrated Reflexive Thematic Analysis principles and phases as well as how the use of the self, influenced the process. To begin with, a brief summary of each theme is suggested. At an initial meeting with Robbie and Sarah, who are, by any standard, incredibly kind and encouraging, I was invited to explore a data set with over 60 interviews with GPs, Psychologists and Social Workers about social work, risk, and application of theory to practice issues. To summarise, coding is an organic and evolving process, capturing an interweaving of the knowledge, subjectivity and analytic skill of the researcher, engaging closely and systematically with the dataset (p.72). Every stage, including editing, takes longer than anticipated. Is it coherent, with a central idea that meshes the data and codes together? You may wish to click the link and view it in full. Braun and Clarke argue that this approach effectively reproduces a positivist-empiricist idea of research as truth-questing and isnt congruent with a qualitative approach which is localised, contextualised and endeavours to contribute to a rich tapestry of understanding that we and others are collectively working on, in different places, spaces and times (p. 120). The coding process inherits from the approach. The authors repeatedly emphasize that the commonality or frequency of an issue does necessarily denote importance nor that it should automatically qualify it as a theme. A psychologically healthier position, surely. Firstly, I felt demoralised by the realisation that reading this data would take far longer than I imagined. The intention of RTA is to contribute to the pre-existing body of knowledge by providing rich, contextualised, creative, and thus original research undertaken in the spirit of curiosity and reflexivity. I intend to write every fortnight about matters related to child protection, children and families, attachment, and trauma. Both the research question/theme and the approach are influenced by the researchers position in the academic field, including for inductive approaches, and this should be reported. Phase 5: Refining, defining, and naming themes. Coding involves methodically reviewing the data and searching for segments that appear interesting, relevant, provoking in relation to the research question and then writing brief descriptions (codes) next to them. Once familiarity has been achieved, which involves being close to the data, then the research can move onto the next stage which involves critical engagement, and this involves creating some distance with the data. This analysis is adapted to Understanding Users type of studies with research questions that dont focus on representations, since this type of questions is a core focus of the Reflexive TA approach. That said, an inductive research about representations about mobility technology could reveal a pattern of gendered experiences, with women having more negative experiences than men. , This two-staged process can be aided through a third, complementary element of making notes throughout. Themes are to be generated deliberately and thoughtfully by the researcher, drawing upon and integrating their position, knowledge, and intellectual interests to aid this process. There are two important reasons for coding: insight, and rigour. To capitalise on this resource, Braun and Clarke invoke the use of the term reflexive. It enables the researcher to check that the themes thus identified have an evidentially and/or compelling story to tell (that is tied to the data). They also provide an overview of how thematic analysis compare to other qualitative analysis approaches, discourse analysis, qualitative content analysis, interpretative phenomenological analysis and grounded theory. Had a hand in building h.ai. Psychologically, this might be the most challenging stage because it requires letting go of some or all themes altogether. It is also an antidote to cherry picking whereby the researcher is highly selective about the data, extracting out elements that fit a pre-existing idea or bias. Even at this late stage, there is an opportunity to revise, or even more severely, let certain themes go altogether. Reflexive TA can be used for research questions or themes necessitating to describe the lived experiences of particular social groups or examine the factors that influence, underpin, or contextualize particular processes or phenomena (source).