You are here

Qualitative Content Analysis
Share

Qualitative Content Analysis
A Step-by-Step Guide



November 2021 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
In eight clear-cut steps, this book provides a systematic introduction to qualitative content analysis and how you can use it in each stage of your research project, no matter the type or amount of data.

Developed by a leading expert in the field and based on years of teaching experience, this book offers an essential framework for interpreting qualitative data for any social sciences student or researcher.

To support you in choosing the best approach for your research, this book includes:
·       Examples of how QCA can be applied to various research processes
·       An introduction to text analysis and its different approaches
·       Discussions of how to use QCA software to benefit your research
·       An online how-to manual to help you get the most out of QCAmap software.

It also introduces the process of scientific research, and integrates qualitative and quantitative analysis into the step-by-step approach.


 
Introduction: Why Should we be Concerned With Qualitative Content Analysis?
 
Part I: Foundations of Text Analysis
 
Chapter 1: The Methodological Debate of Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research
Historical Background

 
Theory of Science Background of the Controversy

 
Is Mixed Methods a Solution?

 
Common Research Criteria for Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches

 
 
Chapter 2: Importance of Text Analysis in Social Sciences
Texts and Numerical Data as Material in Social Sciences

 
Methods of Collecting Textual Material in Social Sciences Projects

 
 
Chapter 3: Different Approaches of Text Analysis
A comparison of Five Qualitative Text Analysis Approaches

 
Social-Hermeneutic Paraphrase

 
Psychoanalytic Text Interpretation

 
Objective Hermeneutics

 
Grounded Theory Coding

 
Qualitative Content Analysis

 
Comparison of the Approaches and Quality Criteria

 
 
Chapter 4: A Short History of Content Analysis
Preliminary Phase

 
Consolidation Phase

 
Fine Developments and Interdisciplinary Expansion

 
Stagnation and “Discontent” with Content Analysis

 
New quantitative approaches in computational linguistics, complex algorithms and text mining

 
Approaches to Qualitative Content Analysis

 
 
Chapter 5: Basic Principles of Qualitative Content Analysis
Embedding the Material within its Communication Context

 
Categories in the Focus of Analysis

 
Defining content analytical units

 
Systematic, Rule-bound Procedure

 
Object Reference in Place of Formal Techniques

 
Theory-guided Character of the Analysis

 
Testing Specific Instruments via Pilot Studies

 
Integrating Quantitative Steps of Analysis

 
Quality Criteria

 
 
Chapter 6: Procedures of Qualitative Content Analysis
Summarizing Qualitative Content Analysis

 
Inductive Category Formation

 
Explication: Narrow and Broad Context Analysis

 
Structuring: Deductive Category Assignment

 
Mixed Procedures

 
 
Chapter 7: Computer Programs for Supporting Qualitative Content Analysis
The Merits of Computer Assistance in Text Analysis

 
QCAmap Software for Qualitative Content Analysis

 
 
Part II: The 8 Step Qualitative Content Analysis Research Process
 
Chapter 8 Step 1: Forming the Research Question
From Themes to Questions

 
How to Formulate a Research Question

 
Example for Step 1: Forming the Research Question

 
 
Chapter 9 Step 2: Establishing the Theoretical Background of the Study
Different Levels of Theory Background

 
Example for Step 2: Establishing the Theoretical Background of the Study

 
 
Chapter 10 Step 3: Designing the Study
Basic Designs for Qualitative (and Quantitative) Research

 
Example for Step 3: Designing the Study

 
Ethical Aspects of a Qualitative Content Analysis Study

 
 
Chapter 11 Step 4: Gathering Textual Material, Sampling
The Quality of the Sample: Establishing a Sampling Strategy

 
Recommendations for Sample Size

 
Describing the Text Corpus for Qualitative Content Analysis

 
Transcription Rules

 
Example for Step 4 (Textual Material)

 
 
Chapter 12 Step 5: Choosing and Constructing Adequate Methods
Summarizing: Procedure and Example

 
Inductive Category Formation: Procedure and Example

 
Explicating (Context Analysis): Procedure and Example

 
Structuring (Deductive Category Assignment): Procedure and Example

 
Mixed Procedures: Theme Analysis, Type Analysis, Parallel Procedures

 
 
Chapter 13 Step 6: Conducting the Study and Presenting the Results
Description of Results

 
Presenting Studies with Summarizing Content Analysis

 
Presenting Inductive Category Formation

 
Presenting Deductive Category Assignment

 
Answering the Research Question

 
 
Chapter 14 Step 7: Discussing Quality Criteria
Classical Quality Criteria

 
Specific Content-analytical Quality Criteria

 
Software Example: Three Levels of Intercoder Agreement

 
 
Chapter 15 Step 8: Reflecting on Research Implications
Theoretical Implications

 
Practical Implications

 
 
Part III: Indications and Limitations of Qualitative Content Analysis
Similar Conceptions of a Qualitative Content Analysis

 
Criticism and Misunderstandings

 
Strengths and Weaknesses of Qualitative Content Analysis

 
Further Developments

 

Philip Mayring offers a clear, systematic, step-by-step formula for both undergraduate and postgraduate students and novice researchers interested in using qualitative content analysis. The book offers significant context, elaborate detail, and supplements this with clear examples of research in the everyday practice.  

Naomi Oosterman
Lecturer in the Department of Arts & Culture Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam

This book promises to be a well signposted and accessibly written ‘compelling read’ for novices and those new to Qualitative Content Analysis. It is also a `must’ for established researchers wishing to engage with the challenge of a new perspective on QCA. The text invites the reader to consider Content Analysis and appreciate the research journey using a novel and innovative approach. It offers ideas and suggestion, weaving together divergent principles, as well as proposing new tools and models, as means by which the intricacies and challenges littering Content Analysis might be navigated.

Debbie Reed
Head of Digital and Lifelong Learning, University of Kent

For instructors