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Critique and analyze the attached PDF called Cognitive Development Through Adolescence by following the activity guidelines shown below (also Essay

Critique and analyze the attached PDF called Cognitive Development Through Adolescence by following the activity guidelines shown below (also attached for ease of reading). This is not a summary but a critique and analysis.

Activity Guidelines
• Objectives: What does the article set out to do?
• Theory: Is there an explicit theoretical framework? If not, are there important theoretical assumptions?
• Concepts: What are the central concepts, and are they clearly defined?
• Argument: Are there specific hypotheses?
• Method: What methods were employed to support the hypotheses?
• Evidence: What evidence was used to support the findings?
• Values: Are value positions clear, or are they implicit?
• Literature: How does the work apply to your findings?
• Contribution: How well does the research advance cognitive psychology knowledge?

CJ 3311 ETHICS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE Assignment 1 Instructions Research a government

CJ 3311

ETHICS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Assignment 1 Instructions

Research a government official (other than a police officer) who has been charged with ethics violations. We hear a lot of media about police officers, but I want you to look at ethic violations in other areas in criminal justice. You are all in criminal justice because something intrigued you about it. Find something that appeals to your sense of injustice in the system and take a good look at it. This could be a politician accused of taking bribes, an appointee by the president, judge, etc. You may also use an unethical violation during a trial. It could be misconduct by a judge, prosecutor, or defense attorney. (Example: There have been accusations of defense attorneys falling asleep during a capital murder trial where their client faces the death sentence.) These fit the situations of what would you do?

It must be recent, within the last 7 years. Outline the charges or ethical dilemma that existed and explain the issues in terms of the ethics associated with the Criminal Justice system. FULLY discuss the implications and the outcome of the situation if it is resolved. Make sure you choose an official that has had enough reports and enough research information to produce a quality paper.

This is to be a research paper reporting on the information you have found as well as an exercise for you to analyze issues you have identified in criminal justice. Be objective while developing options to address the issues. Use text concepts to explain your decision and what ethical system influenced your decision. You can do this. Find a case that interests you.

This is a fun project that gives you the opportunity to select an issue you find in the criminal justice system and work out what your solution would be for the facts surrounding the facts.

Base your paper making sure to address the following areas:

Identify the dilemma and relevant events;

Describe who may be impacted by the dilemma or should be considered in the decision making;

Identify all of the options/choices that are possible to address this dilemma (note that not all these choices have to be realistic or good —part of this exercise is thinking through all of the possible ways to solve a problem. I am not grading you on if it is the right choice;

Describe the consequences of each choice/option, including how these carious choices affect other people impacted by the decision;

Identify the decision you would make; and

Justify your decision

A large part of your grade is identifying these six areas of your paper.

This research paper has a minimum acceptable requirement of 6 full research content pages. That is not including the cover sheet or the reference page. It must be 6 FULL pages according to the instructions on “written papers” described in the Syllabus. Remember, SIX pages is minimum and would be an average paper. (Average is “C”). Anything under 6 pages starts you with a D and goes down accordingly.

When you have completed your Assignment 1 you may submit it online under the ASSIGNMENT tab. Produce it as a WORD document and attach it to the Assignment 1 section of BLACKBOARD.

Please review the writing requirements in the Syllabus for written assignments.

DO NOT SEND IT TO ME IN AN EMAIL. It will not be accepted, and you will not receive credit.

Remember, more is better!

Class Response 1 Introduction Professional nursing boards and nurse practice acts exist

Critique and analyze the attached PDF called Cognitive Development Through Adolescence by following the activity guidelines shown below (also Essay Psychology Assignment Help Class Response 1

Introduction

Professional nursing boards and nurse practice acts exist in each state so that licensed professionals can be aware of the different rules and regulations that need to be followed. Some professionals practice in numerous states throughout their career so it is important to be aware of the differences between states to ensure that laws are followed accordingly. The purpose of this discussion post is to identify the overall mission of these nursing boards, to identify the impact that regulations have on nursing practice, and to compare these between different states.

The Mission of Nursing Boards

The mission of professional nursing boards is a simple one, to protect the public. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (n.d.) explains that the boards that make up this council help to ensure public safety and welfare and provide regulations for licensed professionals to adhere to to make this possible. Nurses are required to be licensed through their state’s board to be able to practice legally. The state board monitors nurses and provides regulations that must be followed to maintain an active license. This provides the public with an added level of safety and security. Nurses hold a lot of power in their licenses and laws must be upheld. Nursing boards follow up with complaints and issues that a nurse may encounter during their career to make sure that they stay practicing in a safe manner. If it is determined that a nurse is not adhering to these regulations, the state board may revoke the nurse’s license if deemed necessary for the safety of the public.

Impact on Nursing Practice

Each state’s board of nursing and practice act will have an impact on the nursing practice in that state. Depending on the state, advanced practice nurses may be allowed to practice independently. According to the true scope of practice for nurse practitioners, they should be allowed to do this in every state (Neff et al., 2018). When nurse practitioners are allowed to practice independently, there is improved access to primary care (Neff et al., 2018). I am from California where nurse practitioners are able to practice independently. Honestly, I was not aware that other states did not allow this. I agree with this article and can see how primary care can not evolve to be as accessible as it could be when nurse practitioners are limited and required to work under a medical doctor.

Regulations by State

As I mentioned before, I am from California. This being said, I did my nursing education in Arizona. I will be comparing and contrasting these two states as they are the ones I am most familiar with. Before I did my education outside of California, I was not aware that regulations differed so much between states. One major difference that I learned about is the renewal times and fees for registered nursing licenses. Advanced practice nurses’ renewal follows the schedule of the renewal of the registered nurse’s license. In California, a registered nurse must renew their license every two years for $190 (California Board of Registered Nursing, n.d.). According to the state website, there is no additional fee for renewal for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners but there is for other specialties (California Board of Registered Nursing, n.d.). I am surprised by this fact. In Arizona, a registered nurse must renew their license every four years for $160 (Arizona State Board of Nursing, n.d.). Not only is it slightly cheaper for each renewal in Arizona, it is also every four years instead of every two years saving the nurse even more money. When it comes to continuing education units and hours, California and Arizona also differ. In California, a registered nurse must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years (California Board of Registered Nursing, n.d.). In Arizona, if a nurse works more than 960 hours in the last five years, they do not need to do continuing education units, if they do not, they need to complete 45 hours in advanced pharmacology and 45 hours related to the specific advanced specialty (Arizona State Board of Nursing n.d.). These are just a couple of comparisons between certain states and their regulations but it can easily be seen how important it is to be aware of these. If a nurse moves and transfers their license from Arizona to California, it’s important to be sure that renewal times and continuing education requirements are noted as they are much more expensive and more frequent than they would be accustomed to.

Conclusion

In conclusion, professional nursing boards are in place for the safety of the public and the accountability of that state’s nurses. As mentioned above, there is a significant impact of regulations on nursing practice that can be either positive or negative. Lastly, regulations vary from state to state and nurses are responsible for staying updated if they move or transfer their license to another state to ensure compliance. Overall, it can be seen how important these professional boards are in nursing practice and how important it is for nurses to be familiar with them.

Class Response 2

Professional Nursing and State-Level Regulations

If you decide to acquire your nursing license in a state other than your home state, the board of nursing in that state will be different from the boards in the other states. Although New York is my home state, I have investigated the legal systems of other states since I am contemplating relocating to a new region once my children reach the age when they may independently attend college.

Every advanced practice registered nurse in the state of New York must perform their duties under the supervision of a physician. On the other hand, it is anticipated of the APRN that they will be able to diagnose and treat patients on their own, and the physician will not be personally supervising them while they are treating patients. Although physicians are not required to sign off on patient prescriptions or records, a written agreement and procedure must be drafted to declare that a physician supervises the activities of advanced practice registered nurses. While physicians are not required to sign off on patient prescriptions or records, they are required to declare that they supervise the activities of an APRN. The state conducts routine inspections of these APRNs’ offices to ensure that they are adhering to the agreement between the policy and practices of their designated provider (NursingLicensure.org, 2021). These APRNs can operate independently in their own offices, subject to routine inspections by the state.

On the other hand, the nursing board in the state of California has some of the strictest requirements in the nation. APRN are licensed to practice nursing in the state of California and operate directly under the supervision of a physician. They are supposed to have the physician indirectly oversee the treatment that they deliver to patients, and the physician is the one who will sign off on the care that was given. It is permissible for APRN to write prescriptions for patients, but not for all pharmaceuticals. Because I am now working in a hospital, I can inform you that advanced practice registered nurses report to either emergency medicine or the chief of medicine when hired in hospitals (NursingLicensure.org, 2021). Most of the clinicians on staff are advanced practice registered nurses, and they are most often deployed in the roles of hospitalists, providers of fast-track care, and urgent care providers.

When compared side by side, the boards governing the two states could not be much farther apart if they tried. Because California is a stringent and monitored state to practice in which APRNs are required to work very closely with providers, the benefits for the advanced practice registered nurse include never being alone and always having connected resources that are closely monitored to ensure that they are practicing in the correct manner. It is because the state requires advanced practice registered nurses to work very closely with providers (NursingLicensure.org, 2021). When compared to other states, the advanced practice registered nurse in New York enjoys a more significant degree of autonomy (NursingLicensure.org, 2021). They are permitted to function on their own without the direct supervision of a provider, which leaves room for error on their part.

Additionally, since they are not studied as attentively, they get less feedback on their strategies. It is because the strategies are not observed as closely. When treating a patient, an APRN in California and an APRN in New York have the same duty since they are both held accountable for the care they alone provide (National Council of State Boards of Nursing, n.d).

[A research problem is a definite or clear expression [statement] about an

[A research problem is a definite or clear expression [statement] about an area of concern, a condition to be improved upon, a difficulty to be eliminated, or a troubling question that exists in scholarly literature, in theory, or within existing practice that points to a need for meaningful understanding and deliberate investigation. A research problem does not state how to do something, offer a vague or broad proposition, or present a value claim. In philosophy, the research problem establishes the means by which you interrogate the relevant literature, and drives both your argument and implications for new knowledge and understanding].

[A close reading of any scholarly text involves the careful and sustained interrogation of that text specifically in terms of its presentation of the “problem at hand”. A close reading emphasizes the single and the particular over the general, effected by close attention to the ways in which the sentences and paragraphs unfold ideas, as well as the formation of the central philosophical questions. A truly attentive close reading of Ethical Theory and Business, for instance, would excavate the probable ethical questions that are embedded there based on the construction of the text itself].

[A close reading response essay, therefore, achieves (in a 1-page single spaced composition) an understanding of the “problem at hand,” and then presents the complexities of that problem in order to show the difficulty of arriving at any sort of easy resolve].

A template for the close reading response essay includes:

Introducing the reader to the importance of the topic for study.

Extracting the “problem at hand” that seems embedded in the scholarly text.

Fleshing or parsing out the question in its complexities.

Proposing new and better questions as a result of #1-3.

Week 1 Required Readings Diagnose Your Negotiating Style Links to an external

Week 1 Required Readings

Diagnose Your Negotiating Style Links to an external site.

https://www.pon.harvard.edu/daily/dispute-resolution/diagnose-your-negotiating-style/

Shuttle Diplomacy in Venezuela Links to an external site.

http://www.beyondintractability.org/audiodisplay/ury-w-12-shuttle-dip1

Marcus Lemonis: How Not to Negotiate

https://www.cnbc.com/2014/04/15/how-not-to-negotiate-in-five-simple-steps.html

Shuttle Diplomacy PDF File (Attached)

Week 1: Discussion Board

Post your initial responses to this week’s discussion questions by Wednesday of each week.

Participation in Online Discussion Board:

You will be expected to participate weekly in the online discussion board.

You will be expected to post one “primary response” for each discussion board question for the week, followed by at least one “secondary response” (response to the postings of others) for each discussion board question.

I will post two discussion questions each week by Sunday. Students must respond to each question (a primary response) by Wednesday 12 midnight ET.

Students must also comment on at least one other student’s posts (a secondary response) by Friday at 12 midnight ET.

NOTE: Discussion responses not submitted by each week’s due date will receive a grade of 0 for that post. Your responses should be thoughtful, appropriately detailed, and incorporate your understanding of course content as well as its relationship to your own experience within organizations.

Evaluation will be based on the quality of the post (not the length-use concise posts with insightful information), its clarity and the degree to which your contributions enrich the learning of your colleagues.

Posts need to present valuable information.  While posts should be at least 100 words long please note that your posts will be evaluated on quality not quantity.  Please keep your posts to a maximum of 250 words per post.

Week 1a Discussion

66

Open this folder to view and participate in this week’s discussion.   (Links to an external site.)  Please reference the weekly readings in creating your responses to these questions.  Please make sure you respond to both Week 1a and Week 1b questions

What is your negotiating style and why do you believe it’s the most effective?

Brian,

My negotiating style is compromising.  Simply put, bargaining is a sort of compromising negotiation.  Instead of coming to an agreement’s full value-sharing solution, compromisers divide the agreement’s worth between the two sides.  A compromised negotiator is easily exploited by a competitive negotiator (Fisher et al., 2011).  The reason why I believe it is the most effective is because the kind of negotiation that most people associate with negotiation is compromising, but in actuality, compromising is typically just haggling.  Splitting the difference is a common strategy for reaching a compromise, which typically yields an outcome that is roughly halfway between both parties’ initial viewpoints.  The wisest course of action is to compromise.  Because if there is a disagreement, conflict of interests, or simply a simple conflict, both parties can come to an understanding by traveling in the other way (Fisher et al., 2011).  Compromises make it simpler to resolve conflicts, produce quicker fixes, and promote interpersonal harmony while identifying the best answers to a variety of problems (Lewicki et al., 2020).  Fairness in terms of compromise can take one of two forms: procedural fairness or end-state fairness.  Although a compromise is rarely as desirable as a consensus, it is almost always preferable than nothing and is frequently attainable when a consensus is not.  And when it is, it is always worthwhile to try to make it as good as you can in each of the three methods mentioned (Lewicki et al., 2020).

References

Lewicki, R., Barry, B., & Saunders, D. (2020). Essentials of negotiation (7th ed.). McGraw Hill.

Fisher, R., Ury, W. L., & Patton, B. (2011). Getting to yes: Negotiating agreement without giving in (3rd ed.). Penguin Publishing Group.

Week 1b Discussion

56

Open this folder to view and participate in this week’s discussion.   (Links to an external site.)  Please reference the weekly readings in creating your responses to these questions.  Please make sure you respond to both Week 1a and Week 1b questions

What was the most significant thing that William Ury did in his negotiations that moved the process forward?

Anna

The most significant thing Ury did to move the process forward was to open the lines of communication which allowed for an exchange of terms and began to build a working trust between the two parties. He came into the process humble and stated as part of his initial conversation that he was not an expert on Venezuela. He followed this up by asking probing questions regarding this particular context and also gave other examples of similar situations in which breakdown in communications occurred and their outcome (namely, civil war). He then asked each side for 5 steps that would get them closer to consideration (not agreement) and this exercise not only further expanded the lines of communication but it added to the building of trust between the sides. From Ury’s perspective, he noted the 5 steps of each side mostly came down to an ask for respect. He then emphasized the similarities between these asks. All of these steps are broken down by the textbook as the essentials of negotiation – creating a free flow of information, attempting to get to the real needs and objectives, emphasizing things in common and minimizing differences, and searching for solutions that meet both sides (Lewicki, 2020). Also noted by the textbook is that in order to have a successful integrative negotiation, there needs to be: a common objective, faith in the ability to work together, belief in one’s own and others’ perspectives, a commitment to work together, trust, and clear and accurate communication (Lewicki, 2020).

References:

Lewicki, R. J. (2020). Essentials of Negotiation (7th ed.). McGraw-Hill Higher Education (US). https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/books/9781260512595

Ury, W., & Portilla, J. (2003, October 24). Shuttle diplomacy in Venezuela. Beyond Intractability. Retrieved September 19, 2022, from http://www.beyondintractability.org/audiodisplay/ury-w-12-shuttle-dip1

Week 2 Required Readings

How Much Should You Share? Links to an external site.

https://www.pon.harvard.edu/daily/business-negotiations/how-much-should-you-share/

Learn More from Your Proposals Links to an external site.

https://www.pon.harvard.edu/daily/negotiation-skills-daily/learn-more-from-your-proposals/

Negotiation Strategy: Planning Is Critical (Attached)

Week 2: Discussion Board

Participation in Online Discussion Board:  

You will be expected to participate weekly in the online discussion board. You will be expected to post one “primary response” for each discussion board question for the week, followed by at least one “secondary response” (response to the postings of others) for each discussion board question.

I will post two discussion questions each week by Sunday. Students must respond to each question (a primary response) by Wednesday 12 midnight ET. Students must also comment on at least one other student’s posts (a secondary response) by Friday at 12 midnight ET.  

NOTE: Discussion responses not submitted by each week’s due date will receive a grade of 0 for that post.

Your responses should be thoughtful, appropriately detailed, and incorporate your understanding of course content as well as its relationship to your own experience within organizations. Evaluation will be based on the quality of the post (not the length-use concise posts with insightful information), its clarity and the degree to which your contributions enrich the learning of your colleagues.

Posts need to present valuable information.  While posts should be at least 100 words long please note that your posts will be evaluated on quality not quantity.  Please keep each of your posts to a maximum length of 250 words.

Week 2a Discussion

22

Open this folder to view and participate in this week’s discussion.   (Links to an external site.)  Please reference the weekly readings in creating your responses to these questions.  Please make sure you respond to both Week 2a and Week 2b questions

Are you a believer that most people are honest until proven otherwise or that people have to prove their trust? Please explain your reasons.

Mike

Personally, I am a believer that most people are honest until proven otherwise. This may be due to the way I was raised or just what I’ve experienced in my life, but I’d like to think that there are more inherently “good” people than “evil” people in the world. By believing that I think many people are “good” I would make the correlation that most people are honest until proven otherwise.

However, I believe that individuals’ personalities can give off the impression that some people are not honest or trustworthy. I’ve met and had numerous friends who were extremely outgoing, personable, and friendly and simultaneously had friends who were shy, reserved or even considered cold. Depending on the person, the shy and reserved person could be viewed as not honest or trustworthy just due to their personality. This can be attributed to perceptual distortion which can be created off the perceiver’s own preconceived notions regarding the other individual or party in the negotiations (Lewicki et al., 2021). These preconceived notions can cause someone who is actually trustworthy and honest to be perceived as not honest which could greatly impact any negotiations, they are a part of.

References:

Lewicki, R. J., Barry, B., & Saunders, D. M. (2021). Essentials of negotiation (7th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

Week 2b Discussion

19

Open this folder to view and participate in this week’s discussion.   (Links to an external site.)  Please reference the weekly readings in creating your responses to these questions.  Please make sure you respond to both Week 2a and Week 2b questions

How transparent do you think you should be in negotiations and why?

Colleen,

When it comes to negotiations, it is essential to be transparent, so the other party is not left wondering what is going on.  You want to go in by “establishing a cautious approach to trust from the start” (Odeneal, 2022) because it will help ensure that a bad situation does not occur.  Further, mood and emotion play a significant role in the negotiation process, and they can either have a negative or positive effect.  If Party 1 starts getting mad and yells at Party 2, Party 2, who is witnessing the anger, will not necessarily concede (Lewicki et al., 2021).  Seeing Party 1 act cruelly by being mean can be transparent because it may show the company’s true colors, and Party 2 may not want to do business with them.  Going into negotiations, being transparent is an excellent idea because it lets the other negotiation party see whom they are dealing with and if what the other group is saying is clear and concise.  However, some things should be kept out of negotiations, such as if someone plans to retire or start a family.  That information should be kept private because other people in the company can take on roles when a company merges or creates a business deal.

 

Reference:

Lewicki, R. J., Barry, B., & Saunders, D. M. (2021). Essentials of Negotiation. Mcgraw-Hill Education.

FINDING YOUR STORY: DATA ANALYSIS CH. 7 Finding Your Story: Data Analysis

FINDING YOUR STORY: DATA ANALYSIS

CH. 7 Finding Your Story: Data Analysis

Glesne, C. (2016). Becoming qualitative researchers: An introduction (5th ed.). Pearson.

Chapter 7

Finding Your Story: Data Analysis

I can no longer put off the inevitable. I’ve been home three weeks, and I’ve found as many distractions as I could to avoid coding. I’ve organized my files, I’ve set up the study and done a major reorganization so I can spread out the stacks that will soon pile up. I’m reading, I’m thinking, and as a way of really beginning, I took out the prospectus I wrote in November. During the last months at my site, I put a few Post-it notes into the prospectus file with other BIG looming ideas, ones that showed me I would have to tinker with the planned structure. Today I thought I’d just print out a sheet of the tentative chapter structure to put up on the wall (and delay coding once again?). I began typing it, and what did I find? It’s all wrong, it doesn’t capture the way I’ve been thinking at all. The power of the shift hit me head on. I tried to reorganize the chapters, but I found that wouldn’t work either. So instead I wrote out the big themes I have been thinking about in my sleep, while I drive, when I cook Passover food . . . and that’s where I’ll have to start.

(Pugach, personal correspondence, March 31, 1994)

Data analysis involves organizing what you have seen, heard, and read so you can figure out what you have learned and make sense of what you have experienced. Working with the data, you describe, compare, create explanations, link your story to other stories, and possibly pose hypotheses or develop theories. How you go about doing so, however, can vary widely. Linguistic traditions, for example, focus upon words and conversations, treating “text as an object of analysis itself” (Ryan & Bernard, 2000, p. 769) and may use procedures such as formal narrative analysis, discourse analysis, or linguistic analysis as tools for making sense of data. Researchers from sociological traditions tend to treat “text as a window into human experience” (Ryan & Bernard, 2000, p. 769) and use thematic analysis procedures to deal with data through coding and segregating data for further analysis, description, and interpretation. Thematic analysis, the approach most widely used in ethnographic work, receives primary attention in this chapter, but for comparison, several other forms of data analysis are introduced as well.

Varying Forms of Analysis

The form of analysis you use is linked to your methodology, research goals, data collection methods, and so on. This chapter does not attempt to explain the multiple approaches to data analysis that are available, but four different approaches are presented to introduce how and why analysis procedures may vary. Read more widely on modes that resonate with you, and on data analysis in general. This section begins with an introduction to thematic analysis, the kind of data analysis focused upon throughout the rest of the chapter, before briefly describing conversation analysis from linguistic traditions; narrative analysis, which combines linguistic and sociological traditions; and semiotics from sociological traditions.

Thematic Analysis

Thematic analysis—searching for themes and patterns—is used frequently in anthropological, educational, and other qualitative work. An important aspect of thematic analysis is segregating data into categories by codes or labels. The coded clumps of data are then analyzed in a variety of ways. You might, for example, look at all the data coded the same way for one case and see how it changes over time or varies in relationship to other factors, for example, across events. You can also “explore how categorizations or thematic ideas represented by the codes vary from case to case” (Gibbs, 2007, p. 48). Cases might refer to different events, settings, participants, or policies. Making comparisons is an analytical step in identifying patterns within a particular theme. The goal of thematic analysis is to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of some social phenomenon through understanding the processes that tend to involve that phenomenon as well as the perceptions, values, and beliefs of people toward it. Some researchers, such as those working with grounded theory methodology, use the search for themes and patterns to build theory.

Looking for patterns tends to focus attention on unifying aspects of the culture or setting, on what people usually do, with whom they usually interact, and so on. Although thematic analysis searches for patterns, it is not about stipulating the norm. A strength of thematic analysis is its ability to help reveal underlying complexities as you seek to identify tensions and distinctions, and to explain where and why people differ from a general pattern. Thematic analysis receives more discussion later on.

Conversation Analysis

Conversation analysis is a powerful form of analysis if your research goals are to explore how meaning gets communicated and negotiated through naturally occurring conversations:

Conversation analysis studies the various practices adopted by conversational participants during ordinary everyday talk. This may include how participants negotiate overlaps and interruptions, how various failures (such as hearing and understanding problems) are dealt with during the interaction and how conversations are opened and terminated. (Bloor & Wood, 2006, p. 39)

Conversation analysis might be used, for example, in a study of a hospital implementing an interprofessional teamwork program to improve patient safety. The researcher might use conversation analysis to inform the program’s development through a focus on how doctors, nurses, technicians, and aides talk with each other in specific patient-related situations, and on what kinds of meanings are communicated and negotiated through that talk.

Data for conversation analysis studies tend to come from recordings of everyday occurrences, not from interviews. The researcher focuses on details within the conversations—from time intervals between utterances to stress on certain words—and employs a system of transcription that uses various symbols to indicate nonverbal aspects of a conversation. Conversation analysis developed out of a form of interpretative research called ethnomethodology, a methodology that focuses how people make sense of everyday life and the procedures they use to accomplish taken-for-granted interactions such as “trusting, agreeing, negotiating” (Schwandt, 2007, p. 98). Frequently, video recording is used as a data-gathering tool to document some aspect of everyday life, and the videos are studied and analyzed frame by frame.

Narrative Analysis

If your research goal is to understand how participants construct meaning from their experiences and/or how they structure the narrating or telling of those experiences, then you will want to know about narrative analysis strategies. Research questions tend to be those that “explore either the structure of narratives or the specific experiences of particular events, such as marriage breakdown or finding out information that is life-changing; undergoing procedures (social/medical); or participating in particular programs” (Grbich, 2013, p. 216). Narratives may be collected in situ by voice or video recordings or through interviews. If obtained through interviews, the interviewer generally asks broad, open-ended questions such as “Tell me about . . .” and then allows respondents to tell their stories with as little interruption as possible. Rather than dissect these stories into themes and patterns, the analysis process is concerned with both the story and the telling of the story.

An example would be a research project that seeks to understand how mothers who have had a child die have made sense of that loss. The researcher could take a sociolinguistic or a sociocultural narrative analysis approach to the data. Even stronger would be using both. The sociocultural approach focuses on the close reading of the narratives as told. For example, if you have conducted interviews with women who have suffered the loss of a child, you would read and reread transcripts of each narrative and make note of the events included in each story; the feelings and reactions expressed; the meanings each woman made of her story; and any explanations (Gibbs, 2007). You would then compare participants’ narratives, noting similar and different events and sense making. You would also work to embed the narratives in or link the stories to the cultural and political context of participants (Grbich, 2013).

The sociolinguistic approach focuses on the linguistic and rhetorical forms of telling the stories. You might analyze the narratives by how the women began their stories, how they ended them, and what made up the middle. You might consider the dramatic style of tales. Narratives tend to fit one or more particular dramatic styles: tragedy, satire, romance, comedy (Gibbs, 2007). If all the stories of your narrators were told in more or less the same dramatic style, then you would reflect upon why that might be so for the particular group of women interviewed. If the stories had very different structures, you would reflect upon that and try to figure out why. Gubrium and Holstein (2009) make the point that people’s narratives often bear “diverse plot structures and themes,” that go unnoticed “unless the researcher is aware of compositional options at the start” (p. 69). The narrative analyst looks at how the interviewee links experiences and circumstances together to make meaning, realizing also that circumstances do not determine how the story will be told or the meaning that is made of it.

Drawing from sociological traditions, Gubrium and Holstein (2009) emphasize the need in narrative work to go beyond the transcript. The analyst must also consider how the context in which the narrator tells the story influences what is told and how it is told. Who asks the questions that invite a story? How are some stories discouraged or silenced? For example, stories my father told me about his participation in World War II through interviews I conducted for the Library of Congress Veteran Project are likely to be different tellings than when he gathered with other World War II vets in Washington, D.C., on Veteran’s Day in 2008. Observations of the context are important for situating and interpreting the narratives. Gubrium and Holstein (2009) describe narrative ethnography as “a method of procedure and analysis involving the close scrutiny of circumstances, their actors, and actions in the process of formulating and communicating accounts. This requires direct observation, with decided attention to story formation” (p. 22).

Researchers across the social science disciplines use narrative analysis, but often for different purposes. As Bloor and Wood (2006) state, “Linguists might examine the internal structure of narratives, psychologists might focus on the process of recalling and summarizing stories, and anthropologists might look at the function of stories cross-culturally” (p. 119).

Semiotics

Semiotics draws from linguistics and communications sciences and seeks to understand how people communicate through signs and symbols. Semiotics looks less at what participants perceive or what they believe and more at how specific beliefs or attitudes get into their heads. For example, why might long-distance bus travel in the United States be perceived as a possibly dangerous mode of travel? Why are foods labeled “organic” perceived as good? Why is economic development often seen as a sign of progress? Semiotic analysis is appropriate for research that asks questions of cultural belief systems or of how certain kinds of information (such as identity) get conveyed.

Semiotics focuses on basically anything that possesses information. Written and oral texts obviously make use of signs that convey information, but a sign could also be a red hat, a pierced tongue, or a bag of tamales in contexts where each conveys some meaning. For something to be a sign, there has to be a signifier (red hat), something that carries the message, and the signified, the concept that is conveyed (member of a Red Hat Society). In semiotic analysis, the focus is on how signs create or evoke meaning in certain contexts.

An integrated system of signs produces a social code. “Semiotics aims to uncover the dynamics beyond surface meanings or shallow descriptions and to articulate underlying implications” (Madison, 2012, p. 76). It is concerned not only with what a sign denotes or represents, but also with what the sign connotes or means in particular cultural contexts. For example, an undergraduate student undertook a semiotic analysis of student groups on campus. She conducted interviews to obtain perspectives on how students group themselves and each other, but much of her work consisted of observations of students—their clothing, ornamentations, and interactional behavior. She became particularly intrigued with distinct ways in which some groups of students used particular signs and symbols to communicate belonging to or differing from other students.

Semiotic analysts may consider visual signs (e.g., use of certain colors), linguistic signs (use of certain words), and aural signs (use of sound, such as tone of voice). They look at who is doing the communication and who are the intended recipients. They look at how the communication is structured and at what that structure conveys. And they might look at binary oppositions; that is, by saying that one kind of cookie is “organic” implies that all the others without that label are not. Finally, they look at the codes or unspoken rules and conventions that structure and link the signs to the meanings people make of them and at how these codes may change over time.

In looking at how signs interrelate to construct meaning, Roland Barthes and others have inquired into ideologies and systems of power to suggest ways in which certain signs get taken as “natural”—as the way things are or should be—and are then manipulated in the interest of those in power. Various motivations (from maintaining the status quo to enticing purchase of a product) may be behind getting a sign to connote a desired image.

To conclude this section on varying forms of analysis, I present a visual metaphor. Consider how fiber artist Caroline Manheimer goes about piecing together scraps of fabric—her data. Making an analogy to thematic analysis, she may segregate (code) her fabric pieces based on certain criteria (such as size, color, shape) into groups and then join the bits together, creating a design in which one color or shape informs the selection of the adjoining fragment. In the process, she might cut some scraps into smaller pieces (splitting codes), or she might sew several pieces together (lumping codes) and then reorganize, creating patterns as exemplified in her art quilt Wanderings (Image 7.1). In Uniform Series #15 (Image 7.2), Manheimer’s process is more analogous to narrative analysis in that she uses fabric to evoke a story about a life in which the Catholic school uniform becomes the symbolic narrative thread. The pieces of fabric (data) are more holistic, and the telling (the narrative) is highlighted.

Your research purposes and questions influence not only what data you produce, but also how you make sense of the data you have. Because much of this book is about ethnographic research techniques that help in understanding sociocultural aspects of some issue, group, or organization , the remainder of this chapter describes more fully procedures for thematic analysis.

Thematic Analysis: The Early Days

If you consistently reflect on your data, work to organize them, and try to discover what they have to tell you, your study will be more relevant and possibly more profound than if you view data analysis as a discrete step to be done after data collection. Working with your data while collecting them enables you to focus and shape the study as it proceeds and is part of the analytic process. O’Reilly (2005) gives an example of how she involved ongoing data analysis with data collection in her research on British migration to Spain:

I noticed that when two British people meet there they tend to kiss each other on both cheeks, as the Spanish traditionally do. This had never been written in my field notes because I hadn’t thought it important until I realised I had seen it happen a lot. I started to watch more closely. . . . I became aware that it is just the British migrants who do this and not the tourists, and that the migrants are more likely to do it when they are in the company of tourists. I then began to notice that in the company of tourists migrants would use the occasional Spanish word when talking to each other. This led me to thinking about the relationship between migrants and tourists, whereas until then I had focused more on the relationship between British and Spanish people. I thus began, during fieldwork, a closer analysis of migrants and tourists and their behaviour and attitudes towards each other that I would not have been able to do once I had left the field. I started to sort through the notes and data I had collected, assigning things to a new heading of “tourist/migrant relations,” and discovered many new occurrences I had not noticed before. (p. 187)

As O’Reilly notes, analytical connections need to be made while you are still collecting data to make full use of the possibilities of fieldwork. Writing memos and monthly reports, managing your data, and applying rudimentary coding schemes will help you to create new hunches and new questions, and to begin to learn from and keep track of the information you are receiving.

Memo Writing

The term memo originally referred to a specific noting process in grounded theory research (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). The term is now used widely in qualitative research to refer to jotting down reflective thoughts. By writing memos to yourself or keeping a reflective field log, you develop your thoughts; by getting your thoughts down as they occur, no matter how preliminary or in what form, you begin the analysis process. Memo writing also frees your mind for new thoughts and perspectives. “When I think of something,” said graduate student Jackie, “I write it down. I might forget about the thought, but I won’t lose it. It’s there later on to help me think.”

Throughout the research process, you work to remain open to new perspectives and thoughts. Gordon, another graduate student, stated, “Insights and new ways to look at the data arise while I am at work at other things. Probably the most productive places for these insights are on the long drive to class and during long, boring meetings when my mind is not actively engaged.” Capture analytic thoughts when they occur. Keeping a recorder in the car can help, as can jotting down your thoughts wherever you happen to be, day or night (if safe to do so).

Don’t just wait for thoughts to occur. Periodically, sit down to compose analytical memos. You might want to consider your research questions and write about ways in which your work is addressing the questions or posing new or different questions. Write about patterns you see occurring. If these patterns seemed particularly neat and comprehensive, think about who might have differing perspectives, and make interview appointments with them. Think about exceptions to any pattern. Remember that you are looking for a range of perspectives, not for the generalization that can sum up behavior, beliefs, or values among a group of people. What are the negative cases to the patterns you observe? Consider when and why those cases might occur. If you continuously consider what you are learning, these early analytical thoughts can also guide you to the next set of observations or interviewees and interview questions.

See Figure 7.1 for an example of an analytic memo I wrote before coding data from fieldwork in seven academic art museums. I knew that I needed to address the broad theme of university/college culture, politics, and economic challenges, and I sat down to specifically note aspects of that theme—in no particular order—that were striking me as important. Writing the memo allowed me to perceive ways to further categorize or organize my data, and it sent me back to my data to further examine, for example, ways in which a school’s history and culture linked to the ways in which art and art museums were perceived at specific institutions.

In addition to memos to yourself, writing monthly field reports for committee members, family and friends, or the funding agency is a way to examine systematically where you are and where you should consider going. Keep the field reports short and to the point, so that they don’t become a burden for you to write or for your readers to read. Headings such as those I call “The Three P’s: Progress, Problems, and Plans” help you to review your work succinctly and plan realistically. In reflecting on both the research process and the data collected, you develop new questions, new hunches, and, sometimes, new ways of approaching the research. The reports also provide a way to communicate research progress to interested others, keeping them informed of the whats and hows and giving them a chance for input along the way.

Writing helps you think about your work, new questions, and connections. All this writing adds up: You will have many thoughts already on paper when you begin working on the first draft of your manuscript. These comments and thoughts recorded as field journal entries or as memos are links across your data that find their way into a variety of files later on.

Maintaining Some Semblance of Control

When anthropologists, sociologists and others talk about the “richness” of field data, this can be another way of expressing the sheer volume and complexity of information they collect and store.

(Dicks, Mason, Coffey, & Atkinson, 2005, p. 2)

I am seeing that I will need to write about university politics and economic challenges. I don’t fully understand either, but they are so important for these campus art museums “at the side” of things, even when “at the heart.” The politics and economics section could be complemented by ways museums make a difference in the lives of the people who experience them and that ranges from pathways of creativity to a meditative escape. . . .

So what are the things standing out for me?

That reaching out to college/university audience and reaching out to community are not as distinct as first appear.

A school’s history and culture that support the arts is of utmost importance.

That leadership to focus the museum’s mission and to get others onboard plus ability to fund-raise is crucial.

That art and art museums can be successfully used in creative and engaging ways across disciplines.

That art museums can address cross-disciplinary/interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary in different ways—primarily through focus on curriculum or on exhibit.

That the museum is a vibrant place of apprenticeship-type learning for students. They get to do things that often are done only by curators or registrars. They are a place of learning research skills, using archives, exploring cultural contexts and history. They also learn how to present and communicate their research through exhibitions, labels, text, websites, worksheets.

The museum is a resource for jobs, assistantships, and credit-generation for students. Not all are in art history or studio art. Some come from another discipline and “fall in love” with museum work.

The art museum can have a strong link to education department. It can be a place where students see and practice interacting with K–12 on museum “tours.” It can be a forum for students to teach/lead hands-on art activities and thereby link with children and their families. It is a learning lab.

If a museum is “known” across the campus, it seems more likely to benefit from alumni donations. This goes back to the culture of the institution.

Administrative support and belief is crucial. Economic cuts are part of the reality. If the admin. does not see the power and potential of the art museum, its budget will be cut. This may mean some restructuring—With whom is the museum allied? To whom does it report? How are FTEs generated? Can they be generated by the museum? What is the college/univ. mission for service beyond the campus? How does the museum get credit for this role?

Figure 7.1 Example of an Analytic Memo*

*Memo was written during fieldwork in a study of campus art museums sponsored by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Expect to be overwhelmed with the sheer volume—notebooks, photocopies, computer files, manila files, and documents—of data that accumulates during research. You truly acquire fat data; their sheer bulk is intimidating. Invariably, you will collect more data than you need. If they are not kept organized, the physical presence of so many data can lead you to procrastinate rather than face the task of focused analysis. Keeping up with data organization during the collection process also helps to ensure that you continually learn from the data and that you spread out the onerous tasks often associated with transforming data into computer files. Based upon his own experience, Gordon advised:

Transcribe notes onto the computer after each interview and observation. This admonition has been prompted by my discovery that a fairly substantial part of my data is not in readily usable form. I have had to go back after three months and type my notes because I find it hard to use data that I cannot read easily. Drudgery.

Keeping up with data involves transcribing interviews, observation notes, and field logs and memos to computer files, filing, creating new files, and reorganizing your files. Throughout, you continuously reflect upon what you are learning. Develop appropriate forms for recording data collection dates, sites, times, and people interviewed or observed, interviews transcribed, and so on (see Figure 7.2). In this way, an account is kept not only of your progress, but also of gaps, since you can easily see where and with whom you spent time and what else you need to do.

Your filing system builds and becomes increasingly complex as you collect data. You may begin with files organized by generic categories such as interview questions, people, and places. These files provide a way to keep track of information you need early on. As your data and experience grow, you will create relevant specific files on the social processes under investigation where you can keep notes from readings and your own analytic thoughts and observations. Early on, you may also begin files on topics such as titles, introductory and concluding chapters, and quotations.

Each of these specific files serves a distinct purpose. The title file, for example, contains your efforts to capture what your narrative may be about (Peshkin, 1985). Although your research project has a stated central focus (from your research proposal), you do not really know what particular story, of the several possibilities, you will tell. Conjuring up titles as the data are being collected is a way of trying out different emphases, all of which are candidates for ultimately giving form to your data. The titles become a way of getting your mind clear about what you are doing, in an overall sense, although the immediate application may be to concentrate your data collecting as you pursue the implications of a particular focus. In short, your search for a title is an act

Figure 7.2 Sample Form for Keeping Interview Records

of interpretation. Titles capture what you see as germane to your study; but as your awareness of the promise of your study changes, so do your titles.

Files related to introductions and conclusions direct you to two obvious aspects of every study: its beginning and its ending. Regardless of the particular name that you give to your introductory and concluding chapters, you frame your study in the former—providing necessary context, background, and conceptualization. You effect closure in the concluding chapter by summarizing, at the very least, and by explicating the meaning that you draw from your data as befits the points of your study, even if this means raising more questions or illuminating multiple perspectives rather than providing answers. It is never too early to reflect on the beginning and ending of your work, much as the preparation of these chapters may seem a distant dream when you are caught up in collecting data. Ideally, the existence of these files alerts you to what you might otherwise miss in the course of your study; they stimulate you to notions that, like your titles, are candidates for inclusion in your forthcoming text. Until the writing is actually done, however, you will not know which will be the surviving notions.

The quotation file contains snippets from readings that appear useful for one of the several roles that the relevant literature can play. Eventually, they will be sorted out among chapters, some as epigraphs, those quotations placed at the heads of chapters because they provide the reader with a useful key to what the chapter contains. Other quotations will be the authoritative sprinklings that your elders provide as you find your way through the novel ground of your own data. Through resourceful use of quotations, you acknowledge that the world has not been born anew on your terrain. The quotation file, like other files, is meant to be a reminder that reading should always inspire the question: What, if anything, do these words say about my study?

Files help you to store and organize your thoughts and those of others. Data analysis is the process of organizing data in light of your increasingly sophisticated judgments, that is, of the meaning-finding interpretations that you are learning to make about the shape of your study. Understanding that you are in a learning mode is most important; it reminds you that by each effort of data analysis, you enhance your capacity to further analyze.

Rudimentary Categorizations

This experience lends entirely new meaning to the term fat data. I can’t even imagine reading everything I have, but I know I need to. And coding it? All the while you’re writing, events are still evolving in the community and you can’t ignore that either. . . . So you really don’t stop collecting data, do you? You just start coding and writing.

(Pugach, personal correspondence)

Marleen Pugach was still at her research site when she wrote this note, realizing her need to begin sorting her data. Classifying data into different groupings is a place to start. Through doing so, you develop a rudimentary coding scheme, the specifics of which are discussed in the next section. You might, for example, think about how you would categorize cases (people, schools, museums, etc.) in your fieldwork (Pelto, 2013). Doing so helps identify patterns in how cases are similar and different and frequently compels considerations of additional interview questions or of other individuals with whom you need to talk. For example, in my work in Saint Vincent, I began categorizing the young people whom I was interviewing as traditionalists, change agents, and those who were opting out of society in some way. I became particularly interested in the change agents and in trying to figure out what was different in their lives that made them optimistic, or at least determined to make a difference. This realization led to both new questions and interviews with others who fit my change agent category.

In another example, Cindy began a pilot study by observing meetings of a rural school board and interviewing its members. After fifteen hours of data collection, she decided to see what she might learn by coding the data she had. As a result, she created a new research statement:

My initial problem statement was so broad it was difficult to work with. The process of coding and organizing my codes has helped me to determine an approach to solidify a new problem statement that will lead me in a focused exploration of two major areas of school board control: financial and quality education.

Establishing the boundaries for your research is difficult. Social interaction does not occur in neat, isolated units. Gordon reflected on his work: “I constantly find myself heading off in new directions and it is an act of will to stick to my original (but revised) problem statement.” In order to complete any project, you must establish boundaries, but these boundary decisions are also an interpretive judgment based on your awareness of your data and their possibilities. Posting your problem statement or most recent working title above your workspace may help to remind you about the task ahead. Cindy used a computer banner program to print out her (revised) research statement, which she taped to the wall over her desk. The banner guided her work whenever she lifted her head to ponder and reflect.

It may help also to think of the amount of film that goes into a good half-hour documentary. Similar to documentary filmmaking, the methods of qualitative data collecting naturally lend themselves to excess. You collect more than you can use because you cannot define your study so precisely as to pursue a trim, narrowly defined line of inquiry. The open nature of qualitative inquiry means that you acquire even more data than you originally envisioned. You are left with the large task of selecting and sorting—a partly mechanical but mostly interpretive undertaking, because every time you decide to omit a data bit as irrelevant to your study or to place it somewhere, you are making a judgment.

At some point, you stop collecting data, or at least you stop focusing on the collecting. Knowing when to end this phase is difficult. It may be that you have exhausted all sources on the topic—that there are no new situations to observe, no new people to interview, no new documents to read. Such situations are rare. Perhaps you stop collecting data because you have reached theoretical saturation (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). This means that successive examination of sources yields redundancy and that the data you have seem complete and integrated. Recognizing theoretical saturation can be tricky, however. It may be that you hear the same thing from all of your informants because your selection of interviewees is too limited or too small for you to get discrepant views. Often, data collection ends through less than ideal conditions: The money runs out or deadlines loom large. Try to make research plans that do not completely exhaust your money, time, or energy, so that you can obtain a sense of complete and integrated data.

Rudimentary Categorizations

This experience lends entirely new meaning to the term fat data. I can’t even imagine reading everything I have, but I know I need to. And coding it? All the while you’re writing, events are still evolving in the community and you can’t ignore that either. . . . So you really don’t stop collecting data, do you? You just start coding and writing.

(Pugach, personal correspondence)

Marleen Pugach was still at her research site when she wrote this note, realizing her need to begin sorting her data. Classifying data into different groupings is a place to start. Through doing so, you develop a rudimentary coding scheme, the specifics of which are discussed in the next section. You might, for example, think about how you would categorize cases (people, schools, museums, etc.) in your fieldwork (Pelto, 2013). Doing so helps identify patterns in how cases are similar and different and frequently compels considerations of additional interview questions or of other individuals with whom you need to talk. For example, in my work in Saint Vincent, I began categorizing the young people whom I was interviewing as traditionalists, change agents, and those who were opting out of society in some way. I became particularly interested in the change agents and in trying to figure out what was different in their lives that made them optimistic, or at least determined to make a difference. This realization led to both new questions and interviews with others who fit my change agent category.

In another example, Cindy began a pilot study by observing meetings of a rural school board and interviewing its members. After fifteen hours of data collection, she decided to see what she might learn by coding the data she had. As a result, she created a new research statement:

My initial problem statement was so broad it was difficult to work with. The process of coding and organizing my codes has helped me to determine an approach to solidify a new problem statement that will lead me in a focused exploration of two major areas of school board control: financial and quality education.

Establishing the boundaries for your research is difficult. Social interaction does not occur in neat, isolated units. Gordon reflected on his work: “I constantly find myself heading off in new directions and it is an act of will to stick to my original (but revised) problem statement.” In order to complete any project, you must establish boundaries, but these boundary decisions are also an interpretive judgment based on your awareness of your data and their possibilities. Posting your problem statement or most recent working title above your workspace may help to remind you about the task ahead. Cindy used a computer banner program to print out her (revised) research statement, which she taped to the wall over her desk. The banner guided her work whenever she lifted her head to ponder and reflect.

It may help also to think of the amount of film that goes into a good half-hour documentary. Similar to documentary filmmaking, the methods of qualitative data collecting naturally lend themselves to excess. You collect more than you can use because you cannot define your study so precisely as to pursue a trim, narrowly defined line of inquiry. The open nature of qualitative inquiry means that you acquire even more data than you originally envisioned. You are left with the large task of selecting and sorting—a partly mechanical but mostly interpretive undertaking, because every time you decide to omit a data bit as irrelevant to your study or to place it somewhere, you are making a judgment.

At some point, you stop collecting data, or at least you stop focusing on the collecting. Knowing when to end this phase is difficult. It may be that you have exhausted all sources on the topic—that there are no new situations to observe, no new people to interview, no new documents to read. Such situations are rare. Perhaps you stop collecting data because you have reached theoretical saturation (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). This means that successive examination of sources yields redundancy and that the data you have seem complete and integrated. Recognizing theoretical saturation can be tricky, however. It may be that you hear the same thing from all of your informants because your selection of interviewees is too limited or too small for you to get discrepant views. Often, data collection ends through less than ideal conditions: The money runs out or deadlines loom large. Try to make research plans that do not completely exhaust your money, time, or energy, so that you can obtain a sense of complete and integrated data.

Entering the Code Mines

In the early days of data collection, stories abound. Struck by the stories, you tell them and repeat them. You may even allow them to assume an importance beyond their worth to the purposes of the project. Making sense of the narratives, observations, and documents as a whole comes harder. You do not have to stop telling stories, but in thematic analysis, you must make connections among them: What is being illuminated? What themes and patterns give shape to observations and interviews? Coding helps answer these questions.

When most of the data are collected, the time has come to devote attention to coding and analysis. Although you already may have a classificatory scheme of sorts, you now focus on categorization. You are ready to enter “the code mines.” The work is part tedium and part exhilaration as it renders form and possible meaning to the piles and files of data before you. Marleen’s words portray the somewhat ambivalent psychological ambience that accompanies the analytical process of coding:

I’m about to finish the first set of teacher transcripts and begin with the students. This will probably mean several new codes . . . since it is a new group. I hope the codebook can stand the pressure. One of the hardest things is accepting that doing the coding is a months-long proposition. When my mother asks me if I’m done yet, I know she doesn’t have a clue. (Personal correspondence, May 3, 1994)

What Is a Code?

The word coding as used in qualitative work is confusing to those familiar with the term and its use in quantitative survey research, where short open-ended responses are categorized with the purpose of counting. Instead of coding to count, qualitative researchers code to discern themes, patterns, and processes; to make comparisons; and to build theoretical explanations. Some qualitative researchers prefer the term indexing to the word coding, but as Saldaña (2009) states, “Coding is not just labeling, it is linking” (p. 8). Codes link thoughts and actions across bits of data. Indexing does not convey that sense of linking. It may not matter which word to use, as long as you realize that coding in qualitative research is for different purposes than in quantitative work.

Coding is a progressive process of sorting and defining and defining and sorting those scraps of collected data (e.g., observation notes, interview transcripts, memos, documents, and notes from relevant literature) that are applicable to your research purpose. By putting pieces that exemplify the same descriptive or theoretical idea together into data clumps labeled with a code, you begin to create a thematic organizational framework.

A qualitative research code, as described by Saldaña (2009), “is most often a word or short phrase that symbolically assigns a summative, salient, essence-capturing, and/or evocative attribute for a portion of language-based or visual data” (p. 3). Saldaña draws a parallel between a book’s title and a code: “Just as a title represents and captures a book or film or poem’s primary content and essence, so does a code represent and capture a datum’s primary content and essence” (p. 3). Note that a code is a word or short phrase, not a number/letter combination or a set of letters meant to represent some phrase, such as T-AHW for teacher use of art homework. Saldaña (2009) finds that such abbreviations “just make the decoding process of your brain work much harder than they need to during analysis” (p. 18). I agree. Write out your code words.

A useful suggestion for creating code words comes from grounded theory research: Think in terms of gerunds (words ending in ing). The gerund form moves you to consider processes and actions such as resisting authority, seeking attention, or striving to be do-gooders. Thinking in terms of gerunds (or processes) tends to lead to a more useful and interesting analysis of your data than categorizing by descriptive nouns such as students, teachers, and administrators.

Approaches to Coding

How do you figure out what codes to use and what to mark as coded? It is a creative act that takes concentrated thought as you read and think deeply about the words before you. Begin by reading quickly through all your data with your notebook at the ready for memos and possible code words. You will note that some of the same topics come up over and over. This is not surprising since your research questions were at least somewhat directing your observations, and your interview questions were somewhat guiding the interview script. You will begin to observe, however, that people talk about a topic in both similar and different ways, presenting different perspectives. These similarities and differences become areas for coding. Make note of actions, perspectives, processes, values, and so on that stand out for you as you refamiliarize yourself with the data.

Then, take several interview transcripts or field observations and try coding them line by line. As much as you may try to set aside your assumptions and theoretical frameworks, those perspectives tend to find their way into the codes you choose. That is to be expected. What you want to avoid is imposing an a priori set of codes on your data. Line-by-line coding helps to immerse you in the data and discover what concepts they have to offer. As you read line by line, jotting possible codes in the margin, try to abstract your code words, removing them slightly from the data. For example, a line in your fieldnotes that reads, “Ms. Wilson asked the students to sit in their seats and to stop talking. She then took her seat and sat there quietly for at least three minutes before the room quieted,” could be coded specifically as “Wilson-requesting quiet.” The code will probably serve you better, however, if abstracted to “controlling students” or “keeping order” or a number of other codes, depending upon your research purposes. The point is that your code is a category of activity of which the piece coded is an example.

Saldaña (2009) suggests “The Touch Test,” as “a strategy for progressing from topic to concept, from the real to the abstract, and from the particular to the general” (p. 187). If you can touch the aspect that is coded—for example, tattoos—then ask yourself, “What is the larger concept or phenomenon or process that tattoo is part of that cannot be touched?” It might be adornment or body art or, perhaps, making a statement, depending upon the context of the research. The intent of Saldaña’s touch test is to help you figure out the concepts of which your coded data are a part.

Line-by-line coding is a way to get started, but you do not necessarily have to code every piece of data this way. Saldaña’s text The Coding Manual for Qualitative Research (2009), the text that I draw upon heavily in this section, is full of ways to approach coding. As Saldaña states, the approaches or coding methods “are not discrete and . . . can be ‘mixed and matched’” (p. 47). Although touching upon several here, I recommend Saldaña’s book for more suggestions.

One useful coding approach is domain or taxonomic coding. Derived from the work of Spradley (1979) in cognitive anthropology, this method attempts to get at how participants categorize and talk about some aspect of their culture. Specific kinds of interview questions may accompany this approach in that the researcher may have asked interviewees to elaborate on ways to (means), kinds of (inclusion/exclusion), steps of (sequence), and so on regarding aspects of the research topic. You do not have to have asked these specific questions to use this approach in coding data. Rather, ask questions of the data you have that would lead to categorizing types of, causes of, consequences of, attitudes toward, strategies for, and so forth that interviewees discussed or that you saw in your observations. In the example above, Ms. Wilson’s request and subsequent waiting may have been construed as a strategy for controlling students. Coding this line would then lead you to look for other types of controlling strategies Ms. Wilson used, as well as types of controlling strategies used by other teachers.

Taxonomic coding helps you find patterns in human speech and behavior. “Controlling” becomes a coding category for varied examples of actions and speech. As Saldaña (2009) states, “When you search for patterns in coded data to categorize them, understand that sometimes you may group things together not just because they are exactly alike or very much alike, but because they might also have something in common—even if, paradoxically, that commonality consists of differences” (p. 6). Teachers’ attitudes toward and actions in controlling students, for example, may be quite different, but all could be coded as “types of control.”

Another coding approach is to become attuned to the words participants use to talk about their lives, communities, organizations, and so on. Referred to as in vivo or indigenous codes, these terms may be particularly colorful or metaphoric or words used differently than as they are generally used. For example, in the museum study, I began noting and then coding the metaphors participants used to describe their campus art museum: the museum as a “gem,” a “treasure,” a “library,” a “bubbling cauldron of ideas,” and so forth. In doing so, I started to perceive patterns in where these metaphors occurred. For example, gem and treasure were frequently used at one site but not at another. I could then begin thinking (and memoing) about how different metaphors might imply different expectations and kinds of interactions at the various art museums.

Another type of coding to consider is emotions coding. “Emotion Codes label the emotions recalled and/or experienced by the participant, or inferred by the researcher about the participant” (Saldaña, 2009, p. 86). Such codes become linked with particular actions or behavior in the study. Saldaña (2009) uses the example of a study of divorce and the emotions linked to different stages and procedures within the divorce process.

Remember that you mix these and other coding methods as you work your way through your data. These approaches are heuristics to help you delve into the coding process and to find what works best for you and your research purposes.

Creating a Codebook

After coding several interview transcripts and observational notes, make a list of the codes you have generated. Can you arrange them into major categories and subcategories? Do some codes appear to be nearly the same and could be combined? Do some codes cover large categories that perhaps should be split into two or more codes? You may find that the same subcode appears under several major codes. This may indicate a theme that runs throughout the work. Look for its presence or absence under other major headings. If absent, should it be there?

After reworking your coding scheme, try it out on the same documents coded previously to see how it fits. Revise as needed, and then try it on another transcript and some more observation notes. What new codes are added? Be overgenerous in judging what is important to code; you do not want to foreclose any opportunity to learn from the field by prematurely settling on what is or is not relevant to you. Go back and forth like this until you are no longer adding substantially more codes, realizing that as you continue to code, you will likely add more—sending you back to look for other expressions of that code in previous parts of your text.

When comfortable with your codes, make a codebook. Give each major code its own page. Below the major code, list each subcode (and sub-subcodes) with an explanation of each. Writing the explanation will help to keep you from what Gibbs (2007) refers to as “definitional drift,” in which the material you coded earlier is slightly different in meaning from the material you code at a different time. For example, in my work with young people in Oaxaca, resisting was one of my early codes. I defined it as forms of speech or actions that demonstrate disagreement with governmental rules or policies. As my work progressed, my application of resisting as a coding category became more complex and began overlapping with a category, I called maintaining indigenous autonomy. I had to rethink my resisting code and its definition.

The codebook is highly personal, meant to fit you; it need not be useful or clear to anyone else. Although there may be common features and a common intent to everyone’s data analysis process, it remains, in the end, an idiosyncratic enterprise. No one right coding scheme exists. The proof of your coding scheme is in the pudding of your manuscript. The sense your manuscript makes, how useful it is and how well it reads depend, in large part, on your data analysis. If your process is not producing any “ah ha’s” or moments of excitement as you realize some new understandings, then it probably is not yet a good coding scheme.

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