, 8 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
1/ @slsibbald asked for my & @ginnybraun's thoughts on theme saturation & this deserves a whole thread of its own - to unpack our gaaaahhhhh! reaction... There are several papers that set out to determine how many interviews (or focus groups) are required to achieve saturation in
2/ #thematicanalysis & make (somewhat nuanced/contextualised) claims about the number of interviews necessary to achieve theme or data saturation. In our view these papers make some rather extraordinary assumptions that speak to fundamental philosophical differences between
3/ coding reliability TA & our reflexive approach. For example, most of these papers consider a code saturated when 1 instance has been identified. For us the notion that the work of a code is done with 1 instance identified is rather puzzling. But when we look at what is being..
4/ coded it's fairly superficial/surface/semantic/obvious meaning & usually the code is capturing a teeny, tiny observation. By contrast reflexive TA doesn't just stay on the surface & describe/summarise/reduce. Some of these 'operationalising saturation' papers do distinguish
5/ between theme, code, data & meaning saturation (with meaning saturation & conceptual codes requiring much more data to saturate or not saturating at all even after 25+ ints), & meaning saturation comes closer to our conceptualisation of coding. So if you're claiming theme...
6/ saturation I would suggest reflecting on why? what you mean by that? how you are determing it? & what theoretical & philosophical assumptions underpin your conceptualisation & do these cohere with YOUR research values? The concept of saturation is not theoretically neutral.
7/ Saturation is not a concept I use in my own research - I find it too problematic - but it has achieved the status of a commandment in qual (thou shalt saturate), a nugget of info about qual even some/many quant researchers are aware of. But like many commandments the why is...
8/ rarely explained. Some of the 'operationalising saturation' in TA papers describe saturation as a "gold standard" but don't explain why. Commandments are problematic because they invite unreflexive practice - just follow this standard don't think about why, what it assumes etc
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