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Analyzing Talk and Text II: Thematic Analysis

  • Christian Herzog
  • Christian Handke
  • Erik Hitters
Chapter

Abstract

Thematic analysis (TA) is a popular and foundational method of analyzing qualitative policy data. It is concerned with the identification and analysis of patterns of meaning (themes) and constitutes a widely applicable, cost-effective and flexible tool for exploratory research. More generally, it constitutes a cornerstone of qualitative data analysis. Drawing principally on Braun and Clarke’s (2013, 2006) work, the chapter outlines when the use of this method is suitable and makes practical suggestions about how to plan and conduct TA research. Few policy studies employing TA contain a transparent discussion of research methods. This chapter stresses the importance of research transparency and methodological reflexivity: researchers should not only document what they do; they should also explicitly argue how and why they opted for specific methods and discuss implications for future empirical research.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Victoria Clarke and Virginia Braun for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this chapter.

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Further Reading

  1. Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (n.d.). Thematic analysis resource and information. Website: www.psych.auckland.ac.nz/thematicanalysis.
  2. Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2013). Successful qualitative research: A practical guide for beginners. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  4. Nowell, L. S., Norris, J. N., White, D. E., & Moules, N. J. (2017). Thematic analysis: Striving to meet the trustworthiness criteria. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 16(1), 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Terry, G., Hayfield, N., Clarke, V., & Braun, C. (2017). Thematic analysis. In C. Willig & W. Stainton Rogers (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research in psychology (2nd ed.) (pp. 17–37). London: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Herzog
    • 1
  • Christian Handke
    • 1
  • Erik Hitters
    • 1
  1. 1.Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC)Erasmus Universiteit RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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