Current Reading – Engaging with Content Analysis and a different notion of “coding”

I’m currently reading these two books:

Krippendorff, K. (2013). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology (3rd Edition). Sage.

(I note someone’s put a full copy of the second edition up on if you google for it… But you didn’t read that here 😉

This is a VERY readable introduction to content analysis which is really interesting and has a great section of computer support including extended considerations of the use of CAQDAS packages such as ATLAS.ti, NVivo and the more content-analysis oriented QDA Miner / WordSTST combo.

I’m now starting:

Leetaru, K. (2012). Data mining methods for the content analyst: An introduction to the computational analysis of content. Routledge.

Content Analysis and Coding vs Inductive impressions.

Will need to turn this in to a “full post” in due course but first notes from Krippendorf around coding noted that:

P127: “Recording takes place when observers, readers or analysts interpret what they see, read, or find and then state their experiences in the formal terms of an analysis, coding is the term content analysts use when this process is carried out according to observer-independent rules”

I find this interesting because… the “formal terms of an analysis” are emphasised in originating Grounded Theory (GT) T and hermeneutics approaches as key but often seem to be much diminished in contemporary practices of those “using GT” or other approaches to analysis influenced by GT. The formality of defining codes and consistently applying them is however very much inductive and open to continuous, data-driven revision.

However, it is the notion of observer independence where arguably the approach of content analysis differs so much from the inductive and interpretivist ideas framing much of qualitative analysis and the assumptions that proceed from that into suggestions of what software can do to assist such analysis. However, in CAQDAS packages “coding” can support or encompass both approaches – and I wonder to what extent this is a key source of the tensions, mistrust or the (frequent) misrepresentation of what CAQDAS packages “do” to analysis.

To be continued…




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