Applied Social Research

Applied Social Research

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101552 Applied Social Research
Workshop 2 (Week 7): Analysing qualitative research
Student Guide
In the last workshop (week 5) you began your ‘hands on’ training in social research. In groups, you devised your own semi-structured interview schedules around the research question: ‘What do UWS Social Science students believe are important elements of a university experience?’ and conducted your own 15 minute interviews.
For homework, you were required to transcribe your interview.
In Lecture 5 (week 5) you were taught about the process of analysing qualitative data (coding). This week you will use this knowledge and begin analysing your interview transcripts. In doing so, you will gain first-hand experience in qualitative coding. The analysis you complete today can be submitted as part of Assessment 3 (Portfolio).
Task 1: Reflection on previous workshop and transcribing homework
Step 1- The first task is for you to reflect upon the interview process which you and your group completed in the previous workshop (week 5). If you did not have time to reflect on your interviews in the previous workshop, do so today.
Some reflection points are:
– Was the interview participant ever confused about a question and need clarification?
– Did some questions only require a yes/no response? How useful were these questions?
– Were some questions not answered with the required response?
– Did the interview ever stray off track? How did the interviewer handle this?
– Did the interviewer ever forget where they were up to?
– How often did the interviewer need to ask questions that were not on the schedule?
– Did the interview run on time? Was it too short or too long?
Based on your experiences of interviewing in Week 5, your group may have revised your interview schedule and conducted the interviews again. Reflecting on this secondary process is also an important part of ‘doing’ research.
Step 2- You are now required to reflect on your transcribing homework. Reflection points could include:
– How long did it take you to transcribe the interview?
– How did you transcribe the interview (computer software etc)?
– Do you believe transcribing aided your understanding of the interview participant’s points of view and experiences i.e. gave you an in-depth understanding of the interview material?
– Did transcribing highlight any positive/negative issues with the interview process?
– Do you believe transcribing is a beneficial experience for the researcher? Why/why not?
Task 2: Creating coding frameworks for interview transcript analysis
Step 1 – Lecture Revision
In the Week 5 Lecture, I outlined two main types of codes:
1. Descriptive codes (initial codes)
Category labels (very much like manifest codes) usually who, what, where, when
They reflect themes or patterns that are obvious on the surface or are stated directly by research subjects [e.g. interview participants]’ (Cope 2005: 224)
e.g. Fear, Prejudice, Community
2. Analytic codes (interpretive codes)
Codes that reflect themes or issues that are not necessarily overtly stated by the interview participant (very much like latent codes)
‘Analytic codes typically dig deeper into the process and context of phrases or actions’ (Cope 2005: 224)
e.g. Fear of youth in public places, experiences of racial discrimination at work, experiences of community

Descriptive Code
(Initial code) Analytic code
(Interpretive code)
Fear • Fear of youth in public places
• Feeling unsafe in home environment
Prejudice • Experiences of racial discrimination at work
• Gendered inequalities in government assistance
Community • Feelings of belonging through neighbourly interactions
• Experiences of safety at school due to peer support programs

Coding frameworks do not necessarily need to be organised according to ‘descriptive’ or ‘analytic’ codes. They do not need to be mutually exclusive. Rather, codes can simply reflect a particular theme or issue and both descriptive and analytic information can be organised under those codes. The point is that meaning can be overtly communicated by interview participants or may need to be ‘unpacked’ by the researcher.
For example, the code may be ‘Fear’ and, as such, every time the interview participant says the word ‘Fear’ (or synonyms) it is coded. In addition, when the interview participant insinuates being fearful (without actually saying the word), it is also coded under ‘Fear’.
In this way, coding frameworks can be organised as ‘Parent’ or ‘child’ codes…
Descriptive Parent Code
(Initial code) Analytic Child Code
(Interpretive code)
Fear • Fear of youth in public places
• Feeling unsafe in home environment
Prejudice • Experiences of racial discrimination at work
• Gendered inequalities in government assistance
Community • Feelings of belonging through neighbourly interactions
• Experiences of safety at school due to peer support programs

In the lecture I also provided an example coding table from my own research using this ‘Parent’/’Child’ framework:
Coding level 1 (Parent code) Coding level 2 (Child code) Coding level 3 (Grandchild code)
Exclusion Feelings of difference • Cultural difference
• Gender difference
• Class difference
• Physical difference
• Numerical Isolation
Experiences of discrimination/prejudice • Ethnic discrimination/prejudice
• Gender discrimination/prejudice
• Class discrimination/prejudice
• Response to feeling/experience
Inclusion Feelings of inclusion/similarity • Cultural/ethnic
• Gender
• Class/socio-economic
Experiences of inclusion • Tolerant actions
Step 2- In your interview groups, you are to create a simple coding framework (only 1 or 2 levels of codes) to aid the analysis of your interview transcript. To begin, you should identify the main themes/issues that arose in the interview. These can form your first codes.
Your tutor will check that you are on the right track.
Step 3- Student groups are to present their coding frameworks to the class. Students can brainstorm further ideas and gain inspiration from one another.

Task 3: Coding interviews
Step 1 – Open your transcript file in Microsoft Word or work on your hardcopy (paper) transcript
Step 2- Using your coding framework, delegate each code a specific highlighter colour, symbol or short word.
Step 3 – Work through your transcript and code the words and phrases (‘highlight’ in colours/use symbols). Note that words/phrases can be coded multiple times (under different codes).
Step 4 – Organise the coded words/phrases/quotes in a data table. Your table could look something like this:

Table 1. Coding framework and results
Coding level 1 (Parent code) Coding level 2 (Child code) Quotes
Exclusion Feelings of difference “……………………”
“……………………”
“……………………”

Experiences of discrimination/prejudice “……………………”
“……………………”

Inclusion Feelings of inclusion/similarity “……………………”

Experiences of inclusion “……………………”

Your finished data table can be presented and used in your final assessment (Portfolio) task.

Take home message: Coding is only one step of the analysis process. It is more of an organisational tool to highlight main themes/issues, patterns and inconsistencies in the data. In your Portfolio task, you will be required to complete the analysis of the interview by presenting an interpretation of the data (see p. 9 of the Learning Guide).

Homework Task:
As part of your learning, you are required to be exposed to specialised data analysis software. You are not required to be trained in the use of the software or to be assessed on your understanding of it. It is simply beneficial for you to understand what software is available and some basic knowledge of how it works.
For homework you will need to watch a YouTube tutorial on how to use NVivo software to aid qualitative coding. The following link (provided on vUWS) will direct you to an introductory video of coding using NVivo software:

Additional interview transcripts (from other research projects) will be placed on vUWS. You are encouraged to have a look at these transcripts, devise coding schemes and analyse them in your own time. You could even try to use NVivo (with the guidance of online tutorials- there are plenty!) for the coding of these (or your own) interview transcripts. This work could be used in your Portfolio task if you so choose.

101552 Applied Social Research
Tutorial 4 (Week 9): Being critical consumers of quantitative research
In the second half of semester, we shift our focus to Quantitative Research. This is reflected in the second assessment task (Critical Review #2) which requires students to find (and analyse) a media article that has reported on a piece of quantitative research, as well as the original research that has been cited.
In this tutorial we will begin to prepare you for this second assignment by developing your skills in being critical consumers of quantitative research.
ACTIVITY: Critically consuming media reports of research
Note: This activity has been amended for students to complete out of class
In this activity students will be viewing a ‘news’ segment taken from Channel 9’s ‘Today Show’. This segment reports on recently released research on the drinking behaviour of Australians and utilises the perspectives of two ‘experts’ in the field to provide a commentary on the issue. Students will need to take notes whilst watching the video (guided by a list of questions provided) and then form groups for a ‘shared brainstorming’ activity.
Step 1- Questions to be used to analyse the ‘news’ segment
1. What issue is the news segment concerned with?
2. Who are the participants in the news segment? What are their roles and relationship to the issue being discussed?
3. What/whose perspectives are covered? In what ways are they similar, conflicting or contradictory?
4. How do the two ‘experts’ justify or support their arguments?
5. What research is cited/referred to? How is it used by the participants in the news segment (the journalist as well as the two ‘experts’)?
6. What type of data/information from the research are presented and why e.g. to support particular arguments/perspectives?
7. Who conducted the research that is cited/referred to?
8. Are any strengths or limitations of the research commented on and if so, what are they?
9. Does the news segment push a particular message or angle?
Step 2- View the video using the following link (or via vUWS link) and answer the above questions:
http://www.9jumpin.com.au/show/today/videos/4005800812001/
Reflection
After watching the news segment and answering the above questions, reflect on the following:
– What are your general feelings towards the news segment? Do you believe in one ‘expert’ more than another? Why?
– Why do you think the producers chose those two particular ‘experts’ to comment on the research? (think about their roles and relationship to the research).
– Do you believe the news segment was balanced/unbiased and provided a variety of opinion?
– Do you believe the research cited is trustworthy, limited, reliable etc? Why/why not?
– What role did the journalist play?

Please carefully read the instructions below
Below are the Questions. 500 words quantitative, 500words Qualitative in total 1000words
The third assessment is a portfolio task that demonstrates students’ competence in interpreting and
analysing qualitative and quantitative data that have either been accessed or generated in class
(tutorials or workshops). Students are to provide two examples of data sets (evidence) for each
Methodological approach and discuss the meaning that can be drawn from them in the 1, 000 word
Component.
Step 1: Students must select 1 example of quantitative data and 1 example of a qualitative data that
have either been accessed or generated in workshops or tutorials (for example the quantitative data
may be statistics accessed from a government website in workshops; the qualitative data might be
the transcript of a focus group convened in tutorials).
Step 2: Students are required to write 1000 words that ‘tells the story’ of the pieces of evidence
selected. For each data set example (1 x quantitative; 1 x quantitative) students are to write 500
words that explain:
• Where the data were generated (the original research and in what tutorial or workshop the
student accessed/generated the data)
• Why the student has selected the particular piece of evidence to interpret (e.g. links to current
debates, relevance to future career, success/enjoyment of task)
• How they have interpreted the data and what meaning can be drawn from it (analysis)
• What use the meaning/analysis could be put to (e.g to inform policy, identify patterns in social
phenomenon etc)
Step 3: Attach the two data sets as appendices in the same document.
The written component of the portfolio is not an essay so an introduction and conclusion are not
needed. Students may use headings to organise their response. Appendices must be correctly
formatted with headings and table/figure numbers and source statements. Within the written
component, reference to academic sources beyond the sources of data is not required. A reference
list is required for data sources. The reference list and appendices are not included in the word
count.
Please use this article for the quantitative analysis
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/baltimore-riots-erupt-over-freddie-gray-death-in-custody/story-e6frg6so-1227325107587

The portfolio should follow this pattern
Task: Content Analysis of Media documents-
In the final task of this week’s Workshop, you are required to begin to conduct a content analysis of media articles. The data you generate may be used in your Portfolio Assignment.
1) Click on the Week 12 tab on the left-hand margin
2) Under ‘Workshop material’ you will see six folders containing media documents. Have a browse through each folder and note what type of documents/texts are contained in each folder and the topic/issue that they focus on.
3) You are only required to conduct a content analysis of the documents in ONE folder. Choose a folder of documents to conduct your content analysis.
4) Accompanying each folder is a Research Question. Based on the Research Question, you are to generate a coding framework for your content analysis (similar to how you developed a coding framework in the Week 7 Workshop for the Qualitative coding of you Interview Transcripts).

Please remember that when conducting QUANTITATIVE coding (Content Analysis), we are interested in COUNTING manifest and latent information. Please refer to your Lecture Notes from Week 10.

HINT: It may be useful to first make a list of themes that you think are relevant to that topic and the Research Question. From the list of themes, you can then list down some specific words that are associated with that theme. These words are the manifest information that you will be counting. The themes are the latent information (in addition to tone/tenor). You can then develop tables to document/present your Content Analysis results.

For example, if we were analysing newspaper articles reporting on terrorism our results tables may look something like this:

Table 1. Content Analysis Results of Manifest Information
Manifest Content
(words) Number of times word appears in document
Document
1 Document 2 Document 3 Document 4 TOTAL
terror
fear
attack
invade

Table 2. Content Analysis Results of Latent Information
Latent
Content
Appearance of Themes and Tone/Tenor of Documents
Document
1 Document 2 Document 3 Document 4 TOTAL
THEME
War
Diplomacy
Civilian deaths
Counter-terrorism
Terrorism in the Middle East
Terrorism in Western world
Terrorism elsewhere
TONE/TENOR
Positive
Negative

NOTE: As you begin your Content Analysis, you may find that some relevant themes or words appear that you did not originally think of. It is okay to add these to your coding framework as you go along.

5) Once you have developed your coding framework and tables, you may begin to conduct your Content Analysis.