Introduction to Social Research
Qualitative Data Analysis Exercise
The objective of this exercise is to practice
, a type of analysis that can be
applied to very diverse types of qualitative data (e.g. transcriptions of in-depth interviews, focus
groups and observations, or literary texts, newspaper articles, etc.).
For this exercise, we are going to focus on the
Annual Messages on the State of the Union
President John F.
delivered to the Congress in 1963, and that President George W.
delivered in 2006. I’ve selected those sections related to
US foreign policy
, and excluded
sections on domestic affairs.
Pair up in groups of 4.
Two of you (subgroup 1) should read President Kennedy’s Annual Message (page 3), and
the other two (subgroup 2) should read President Bush’s (page 9).
Coding the transcriptions
For each paragraph in the transcriptions, identify at least
one theme or concept
(“code”) and write them down in the right margin near the relevant text.
Mark other places in the transcription that also address these categories.
Remember that each paragraph (or even each sentence) can be multiply coded
, that is,
it can have more than one code associated to it.
. After each subgroup has coded its corresponding transcription, go
over them together, reading and comparing the codes you wrote on the sides. In doing so,
. If, for example, subgroup 1 came up with a code that would apply to
a sentence/paragraph overlooked by subgroup 2 in its transcription, go back and code
that sentence/paragraph using the code developed by subgroup 1.
Merge similar codes
. If, for example, subgroup 1 has one code named “Economic
crisis” and subgroup 2 has one named “Economic recession,” merge both codes under
one or the other.
Split dissimilar codes
. If both subgroups coded a sentence/paragraph under
“Achievements,” but one paragraph is related to Diplomacy and the other one to
public schools, re-code these paragraphs as “Achievements/Diplomacy” and
Building a “code tree
.” Make a list of all the codes that appeared in both transcriptions
The list should have the format of a code tree
, where categories are grouped together
using theoretical criteria, or simply common sense. For example:
1. Domestic Affairs
2. Foreign Policy
Of all the codes included in your code tree, select a single code
that you would like to
Creating quotations sheets
. Select all relevant quotations
that pertain to that code in
and copy them in one sheet. In doing so, identify the source between