chapter  6
18 Pages

Analyzing together: recollections of a team approach

ByVirginia Olesen, Nellie Droes, Diane Hatton, Nan Chico, Leonard Schatzman

Critics of qualitative research have frequently argued that accounts of findings often fail to provide sufficient detail on how researchers analyzed their data. Even reports with vivid details on data gathering sometimes gloss the analytic manœuvres with a ritualistic and uninformative reference to a style of analysis, such as grounded theory (Glaser and Strauss 1967), domain analysis (Spradley 1979), unit analysis (Lofland and Lofland 1984), without specific details on how findings and conceptualizations were shaped. Nowhere is this more the case than in team research, a notable exception being Finch and Mason’s account of theoretical sampling, an analytic as well as a sampling tactic, in their ‘Family obligations’ study (1990). There are, of course, good reasons for sparse accounts. Details of every analytic decision in even a small project could well swamp the findings.