In inductive approaches to data analysis hypotheses

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Unformatted text preview: nalysing the data from this research, rigorous use was made of appropriate structural approaches such as inductive analysis. In inductive approaches to data analysis, hypotheses are not generated before the data are collected and therefore the relevant variables for data collection are not predetermined. The data are not grouped according to predetermined categories. Rather, what becomes important to analyse emerges from the data itself, out of a process of inductive reasoning (Maykut and Morehouse, 1994 pp126-127). In this research project, the analysis of the interview data involved the coding of this data against both the core themes contained in the interview schedule which were derived from the analysis of the relevant literature and the emergent themes identified through the contemporary notes. After this initial coding, the data was further coded under more specific themes as well as additional emergent themes. Such multi-stage coding is vital in order to avoid as far as possible constraining any potential empirically based conceptual development to flow from this research (Denzin, 1978). It must be noted that while the data collection and data analysis elements of the research are described separately here, they cannot be seen as 64 discrete stages (Laing, 1997). In common with many other qualitative studies, the collection and inductive analysis of the data ran concurrently although the balance between the two elements shifted over the duration of the research. Okley (1994 pp20-21) writes that “ the professional positivist this seems like chaos. … The fieldworker cannot separate the act of gathering the material from that of its continuing interpretation. Ideas and hunches emerge during the encounter and are explored or eventually discarded as fieldwork progresses.” Wiseman (1974 p317) writes that this constant interplay of data gathering and analysis is the essence of qualitative research. It facilitates the flow of ideas between the two processes and this contributes to the development of theoretical constructs (Eisenhardt, 1989). Moreover, whilst the author has attempted here to detail the techniques used to assist in the data analysis, the precise mechanism by which this occurred cannot be fully documented. This point is echoed by Okley (1994 p21): “After the fieldwork the material found in notebooks, in transcripts and even contemporary written sources, is only a guide and trigger. The anthropologist writer draws on the totality of the experience, parts of which may not, cannot be cerebrally written down at the time. It is recorded in memory, body and all the senses. Ideas and themes have worked through the whole being throughout the experience of fieldwork. They have gestated in dreams and the subconscious in both sleep and waking hours, away from the field, at the anthropologist’s desk, in libraries and in dialogues with people on return visits.” With so much of the data analysis taking place in the sub-conscious mind, it is impossible to present a full account of it (Whyte, 1955 p279). The current study then uses the approach of Laing (1997) who believes one way to ensure the integri...
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