Analyzing qualitative data

Graham R Gibbs

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Sometimes, analyzing qualitative data is seen as the core of qualitative research in general, whereas the collection of data is more the preliminary step in preparing this. There are different approaches to analyzing data in qualitative research, some of them more general, others more specific for certain types of data. They all have in common that they are based on textual analysis, so that any sort of material in qualitative research has to be prepared for being analyzed as text. In some cases, the internal structure of a text (for example as a narrative) is more important for the analysis than in other cases (as in a semi-structured interview). In some cases the content is at the centre of the analysis (sometimes exclusively), in other cases the interaction in the text is relevant as well (as in focus groups) or the central focus of the analysis (as in conversation analysis). In this book, the basic analytic strategies of analyzing qualitative data are unfolded in greater detail. Its first focus is on coding and categorizing. Its second focus is on narratives and biographies. A third focus is on the use of computers in this context. Considerable attention is paid to comparative analysis and to issues of quality and ethics specific to analyzing data. With these focuses, this book first of all provides a basis for analyzing all sorts of qualitative data of interest in verbal data, such as statements and stories. In the context of The SAGE Qualitative Research Kit, it is complemented by the book by Rapley (2007), which is more about the analysis of interactions – conversations in particular – and by that of Banks (2007), which addresses the analysis of visual materials. It is also complemented by the chapters in the books on ethnography by Angrosino (2007), on interviews by Kvale (2007) and on focus groups by Barbour (2007), which address particular problems of analyzing the data resulting from each method. A major addition to their scope is that this book pays much attention to using computers in qualitative research and on writing in the context of making up data (such as writing notes or memos and research diaries). It also gives helpful suggestions for transcriptions of verbal data. Its suggestions referring to ethics and quality of analysis are an addition to the books by Flick (2007a, 2007b) on design and managing quality in the research process in The SAGE Qualitative Research Kit.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLos Angeles
PublisherSAGE Publications
Number of pages176
ISBN (Print)9780761949800
Publication statusPublished - 2008


Dive into the research topics of 'Analyzing qualitative data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this