Friday, 1 November 2013

Talking in code

So coding.


What can I say?

OK. So it perhaps wasn't the positive, inspiring and analytically magic wand that I hoped it would be. Not that it wasn't interesting or that it won't have a place in my analysis but...


OK. So I think the problem was this. In diving into two books - one on coding (Saldana, 2013) and the other discussing qualitative data analysis - and trialing out three possible 'styles' of coding I think I just panicked!
  1. It felt really difficult to decide what was important or not, what was useful or not, etc.  - although In Vivo coding did allow me to see some nice verbatim words/ quotes.
  2. My brain kept looking for words, in the data, that applied to a particular theory or article that I had read, rather than the data showing me the important words itself.
  3. Analytic memo writing with the coding at least allowed me to see why I was choosing the things I was but all it flagged up was the fact that I couldn't think what to call the code!
So I stopped; I completed one diary and walked away.

Walking back to it, albeit reluctantly, some time later I began to realise that I was feeling overloaded with the possible ways and means of looking at my data and, perhaps more importantly, that I wasn't really convinced by the literature I was reading. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's incorrect nor that it wouldn't prove useful in someone else's (more skillful) hands but just that it didn't feel right for me.
This could be me not giving it a chance, or being tired, or a million and one other possible reasons so I'm not discounting it completely seemed to take away all my fun and enthusiasm!

So instead I've gone back to a book by Judith Riley (1996) that I got out of the library ages ago. It just feels a much calmer, more accessible text and one that suggests trying things and feels supportive of any efforts rather than shouting at me about right ways and wrong ways and...
It also contains what feels like more easily achievable methods that will allow me to achieve a good level of analysis in the time rather than getting bogged down in code after code after code after...

So, on the advice of the lovely Judith Riley (I picture her as a really caring, kind person) I am printing out a copy of another diary's contents (yesterday's diary is still too raw to revisit this soon after) and armed with a cup of tea and a highlighter pen I am about to begin my initial analysis of the data...


Riley, J. 1996. Getting the most from your data. 2nd ed. Bristol, England: Technical and Educational Services.

Saldaña, J. 2013. The coding manual for qualitative researchers. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Silverman, D. 2011. Interpreting qualitative data. London: SAGE.

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