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author = {Braun, Virginia and Clarke, Victoria},
title = {Using thematic analysis in psychology},
journal = {Qualitative Research in Psychology},
volume = {3},
number = {2},
pages = {77-101},
year = {2006},
doi = {10.1191/1478088706qp063oa},
URL = {},
eprint = {},
abstract = { Thematic analysis is a poorly demarcated, rarely acknowledged, yet widely used qualitative analytic method within psychology. In this paper, we argue that it offers an accessible and theoretically flexible approach to analysing qualitative data. We outline what thematic analysis is, locating it in relation to other qualitative analytic methods that search for themes or patterns, and in relation to different epistemological and ontological positions. We then provide clear guidelines to those wanting to start thematic analysis, or conduct it in a more deliberate and rigorous way, and consider potential pitfalls in conducting thematic analysis. Finally, we outline the disadvantages and advantages of thematic analysis. We conclude by advocating thematic analysis as a useful and flexible method for qualitative research in and beyond psychology. },
annote={Thematic analysis\\
discusses theory and method, clarifies similarities and differences between different approaches that share some features with thematic approach\\
is a foundational method, is the first researchers should learn, provides core skills\\
consider a dichotomy: 1. tied to a particular theoretical framework or epistemological position\\
2. not\\
In 1 we find tightly constrained methods and less tightly constrained methods\\
In 2, methods independent of theoretical framework and epistemology\\
Thematic analysis is an experiential method, compatible with constructionist paradigm\\
flexible, and not trying to limit that flexibility\\
want to explain it without limiting it\\
researchers should make their epistemological and theoretical perspectives clear\\
so, will provide 6-phase guide, potential pitfalls, what makes good, and advantages and disadvantages\\
Definitions: data corpus is all data collected\\
data set is all data being used\\
data item is each piece\\
data extract is individual coded item\\
patterns = themes\\
we want to identify, analyze and report themes.\\
organize, described data set, interpret aspects of research topic\\
``emerging'' denies the active role the researcher always plays in indentifying patterns/themes, selecting those of interest and reporting them\\
Thematic analysis can be a method that works both to reflect reality and to unpick or unravel the surface of reality. \\
A good thematic analysis will make transparent the assumptions about the nature of the data, what they represent in terms of the world, reality,\\
Thematic analysis involves choices that need to be explicitly considered and discussed,
before analysis, sometimes before collection\\
theme: captures something important about the data in relation to the research question, and represents some level of patterned response or meaning, and researcher judgement determines what is a theme\\
key theme: theme that is important to the research question\\
furthermore there is no right or wrong method to measure prevalence,
even if do choose to use prevalence in technique for determining theme\\
goal could be, provide a rich thematic descirption of entire data set\\
inductive vs. theoretical thematic analysis\\
inductive is bottom up, start with data, see if it connects to research question, but not in an epistemological vacuum\\
theoretical is deductive is top down, where the research question is much more influential about what is noticed as a theme\\
themes can be at semantic or explicit level vs. being at latent or interpresetive level\\
but pick one of those two\\
semantic: words mean surface meanings\\
organize data,\\
interpret: attempt to theorize the significance and broader meanings, implications\\
see Patton1990\\
latent level thematic analysis\\
identify features that give the described themes their particular form and meaning\\
latter tradition typically constructionist paradigm, and find overlap with discoure analysis\\
here broader assumptions, structures, meanings are theorized as underpinnings of what is actually articulated\\
compatible with psychoanalytic modes of interpretation\\
Epistemology: essentialist/realist vs. constructionist\\
essentialistrealist is simple, one way\\
constructionist, where meaning and experience are socially produced, seeks to theorize the sociocultural contexts, and structural conditions, that enable the individual accounts\\
latent is more constructionist, can overlap thematic discourse analysis\\
not all laten is constructionist\\
searching for repeated patterns of meaning\\
look for patterns of meaning and issues of potential interest\\
want to report the content and meaning of these themes\\
analysis involves moving back and forth between the dataset and the coded extracts and writing analysis\\
when to be involved with the literature?\\
some say early, so as to have nuanced anticipation of possible themes (possibly more theoretical)\\
some say late, so that not predisposed to favor one idea over another (more inductive)\\
Phase&Description\\ \hline \hline
Data familiarization & transcribe, read, \ldots reread, note down initial ideas\\
initial codes & code interesting features entire dataset, collating data relevant to each code\\
search for themes & collating, gathering\\
review themes & checking if themes work in relation to coded extracts and entire data set, generating a thematic map\\
defining and naming themes & ongoing analysis refines the specifics of each theme and the overall story the analysis tells, generating clear defniitions and names for each theme\\
producing the report & selection of vivid compelling extract examples, relate the analysis to the research question and literature, producing scholarly report\\
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