Bits and pieces of methodology
good questions! Let me get to them straight after I introduce the methodological approach I am following. It is based on Karin Liebhart lectures in and I will summarize it here.
- Preliminary coding. Review transcript (in this case - relative ER groups), discover important aspects in the transcript - aka preliminary codes which can be refined later.
1.1 Identify key themes/patterns in respective units of text
1.2 Start sorting these identified themes/ issues/ patterns
Develop codes. Codes are a criteria of description, aka words/phrases that serve as labels for sections of data
Identify all data relating to these codes, that is extract text that matches specified labels. Codes can be revised during the process.
4. Figure out relations between these codes, build clusters/ identify relevant categories
4.1 Identify relations between themes, sub-themes – how are they linked (for example through causal chains) in the view of the participant of forum discussions?
4.2 Cluster themes, figure out particularly relevant categories
4.3 Search for irritations (the unexpected data/codes that does not follow existing pattern)
4.4 Describe content of categories in detail (back to original text) and find relating examples and quotations
- Systematic contrasting of cases (in this case - countries: Georgia, Armenia, Egypt)
What is here, it is a produce of step 1 and a basis for step 2. Steps 4 and 5 will be done with RQDA after coding all the relative information.
As you noticed, @Alberto, there are some codes that probably should be merged under one label (like - app making into coding)
What makes code a code? Personally, I love this quote:
"Just as a title represents and captures a book or film or poem’s primary con-
tent and essence, so does a code represent and capture a datum’s primary
content and essence". (Saldana 2008:3).
He continues stressing out that codes are very individual and each researcher would have a personal idea how to arrange the text/extract the appropriate amount of meaning from it:
“Coding is not a precise science; it’s primarily an interpretive act”.(ibid:4)
Hence in this case this is a starting kit of codes that in my opinion capture the meaning of text in the SPF discussions and is on the middle ground between very detailed and very abstract labels. I agree that some of them look more abstract (such as trust) and some more detailed (such as big family) but I will redefine them as I go.
As to the second question, codes are organized more like umbrella terms for units of meaning in the text, but I guess thesaurus could be considered as a skeleton of this umbrella.
In addition to that, I have a question/suggestion: what about making (a) focus group discussion(s) during the final event? @Alberto, I think it would be more interesting and more useful for the research than just a feed back on the draft paper as the participants will be the same who participate online and then they could express more in-depth perspective on the issues identified from their talks online.