Tabula Geminus: A “Both/And” Approach to Coding and Theorizing
For newcomers to qualitative research, one of the more mysterious aspects of the work is the coding process. In teaching graduate students and faculty peers who are learning qualitative methods, I have found that they are typically at a loss as to how to code, even after reading the seminal texts in the field. I suspect that we as qualitative researchers haven’t done a sufficient job in being transparent about this process. Whether this is because of the limited journal space for each article (which constrains a thorough explanation of coding procedures) or because we fail to notice and reveal our own taken-for-granted data analysis routines, the result is the same: Newcomers often experience a great deal of frustration, anxiety, and surprise when learning how to code. In this chapter I attempt to “part the curtain” a bit to explain one way of coding that I have used with 20 co-authors thus far on varying projects-a coding approach I call tabula geminus, or twin slate.