Word processors for qualitative sociologists: A review essay
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Summary and Conclusions
To reiterate, we think word processors driven by microcomputers can be used effectively for processing notes, observations and other textual data collected through qualitative research methods and later for analyzing them. Of course, machines cannot analyze data, engender concepts, or write insightful prose. In fact, these machines can do nothing that humans do not instruct them to do. InAnalyzing Social Settings, John Lofland describes the overlap of observation and analysis in a project and suggests the use of a general file structure and mechanical procedures “that can stimulate on-going analysis during observation” (1971:118). Whatever the system one uses, if the interplay between what is observed and what is made sociologically meaningful can be less a clerical task, then so much the better. In sum, we think word-processing systems can help a sociologist electronically “cut and paste” raw text files and spur the researcher into producing superior files and reports.
KeywordsSocial Psychology Qualitative Research Social Issue Cross Cultural Psychology Text File
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