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Victoria Clarke @drvicclarke
, 10 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Ten tweets on why @ginnybraun and I find the language of 'themes emerged' so problematic in #thematicanalysis and how else can you write about your themes and how they were developed, if they don't emerge from data like bubbles rising to the top of a champagne glass?
2/10 Two main reasons why we find themes emerged or emerging so problematic - 1) it implies that the themes pre-exist the analysis and are waiting in the data for the researcher to find them. We'd call this a discovery orientation to analysis - reflected in terms like 'findings'.
3/10 2) The suggestion is that the themes emerged all by themselves, that the researcher didn't play an active role in the production or generation of the themes. They just sat and waited while their themes wafted to the surface of the data, and then scooped them up...
4/10 This implies a realist/positivist discovery orientation to research - there is a world 'out there' that exists independently of human practices & if we use the correct tools & procedures we can accurately document this pre-existing reality. These assumptions = small q TA
5/10 By small q #thematicanalysis I mean coding reliability approaches which are fundamentally different from my & @ginnybraun's reflexive approach to TA. This lecture maps out some of the differences between different styles of TA:
6/10 We (now) call our approach reflexive TA to distinguish it from other - often very different - approaches & to acknowledge the active role of the researcher in generated themes - themes are the output of analysis, they are not discovered by the researcher.
7/10 The reflexive TA researcher is like a sculptor working with a piece of marble - rather than an archaeologist digging in the dirt for buried treasures or a farmer harvesting crops. See our qual textbook for more discussion of sculptors vs. archaeologists...
8/10 Our qual textbook is called Successful qualitative research:…
9/10 The researcher as sculptor works with materials (data) that delimit what they can say & they bring to the analytic process their experiences, skills, tools & techniques - they actively generate themes to represent patterned meaning in their data... Rather than themes emerged
10/10 Themes are 'generated' or 'developed'. Identified connotes activity but also finding/discovering themes that pre-existed the analysis. Also be wary of report headings like 'Findings'. We have toyed with 'Results' but nothing beats 'Analysis' in our view!
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