Content analysis and grounded theory. Dr Ayaz Afsar. Introduction.
Content analysis involves counting concepts, words or occurrences in documents and reporting them in tabular form’. This indicates essential features of the process of content analysis:
This masks some other important features of content analysis, including, for example, examination of the interconnectedness of units of analysis (categories), the emergent nature of themes and the testing, development and generation of theory. The whole process of content analysis can follow eleven steps.
Step 1: Deﬁne the research questions to be addressed by the content analysis
Step 2: Deﬁne the population from which units of text are to be sampled.
Step 3: Deﬁne the sample to be included
Step 4: Deﬁne the context of the generation of the document.
Step 5: Deﬁne the units of analysis
Step 7: Construct the categories for analysis
He identiﬁes six steps to achieve these tasks:
Step 8: Conduct the coding and categorizing of the data.
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One can see that the codes here are abbreviations, enabling the researcher to understand immediately the issue that they denote because they resemble that issue (rather than, for example, ascribing a number as a code for each piece of datum, where the number provides no clue as to what the datum or category concerns). Where they are not abbreviations, Miles and Huberman (1994) suggest that the coding label should bear sufﬁcient resemblance to the original data so that the researcher can know, by looking at the code, what the original piece of datum concerned.
Step 9: Conduct the data analysis