Qualitative Content Analysis

James W. Drisko and Tina Maschi

in Content Analysis

Published in print December 2015 | ISBN: 9780190215491
Published online November 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780190299019 | DOI:

Series: Pocket Guides to Social Work Research Methods

Qualitative Content Analysis

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This chapter examines qualitative content analysis, a recent methodological innovation. Qualitative content analysis is defined and distinguished here from basic and interpretive approaches to content analysis. Qualitative content analysis is also distinguished from other qualitative research methods, though features and techniques overlap with other qualitative methods. Key differences in the predominant use of newly collected data and use of non-quantitative analysis techniques are detailed. Differences in epistemology and the role of researcher self-awareness and reflexivity are also discussed. Methods of graphic data presentation are illustrated. Three short exemplar studies using qualitative content analysis are described and examined. Qualitative content analysis is explored in detail in terms of its characteristic components: (1) the research purposes of content analysis, (2) target audiences, (3) epistemological issues, (4) ethical issues, (5) research designs, (6) sampling issues and methods, (7) collecting data, (8) coding and categorization methods, (9) data analysis methods, and (10) the role of researcher reflection.

Keywords: qualitative content analysis; qualitative research methods; epistemology; researcher self-awareness; researcher reflexivity

Chapter.  13189 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Work Research and Evidence-based Practice

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