THEME DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY

Description

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Theme Development Activity

Overview

There is typically a minimum of three steps to qualitative data analysis that results in meaningful themes and most good studies have four or five levels of analysis to derive themes from raw data. At a minimum, there will be a first level of coding that has many names but serves the same purpose: to reduce large volumes of raw data to manageable codes (e.g., open coding, Initial coding, micro coding, etc.) You conducted initial/open coding in Week 6 of this course. The second level of coding is to begin to combine, or chunk, the initial codes into categories. Again the various levels of coding can have many names (e.g., axial coding, second level coding, intermediate codes, chunking, etc.), but it is the purpose of this stage of analysis that is important: to begin collapsing initial codes into more manageable related clusters for further analysis.

Instructions

In this activity, a series of second level codes, or chunks, will be presented, and you will derive themes from these chunks. Keep in mind that qualitative data analysis is a subjective process, unique to each researcher, and is also influenced by the theoretical or conceptual framework, research questions, subject matter under examination, and conditions of the study. What this means is that there can be many correct answers, but there also can be wrong answers. The key to theme development is to be able to draw a logic path from your intermediate codes to the themes, and that logic path should be fairly obvious to anyone who follows the audit trail of your study.

For example, in a study of passionate fans of sports teams, some of the intermediate codes might be spacious tailgating, courteous spectators, frequent winning results, and fast stadium departure at the end of games leading to a theme of Awesome Fan Experience.

In this activity, several intermediate codes will be listed, and you will derive 3-7 themes as you would for a complete qualitative study. The clusters will be in the left column of the table. You will group clusters into the center column and will derive themes for those clusters in the right column. Upload your table (see Table 1) as a Word document in Module 8: Week 8. See Table 2 as an example. Due Friday at 11:59pm.

Table 1. Activity Table

Intermediate Codes

Grouped Intermediate Codes

Resulting Theme

Supportive Friends

Life Experiences

Negative Stress Events

Divorce

Family Members Who Cause Stress

Supportive Family Members

Personal Development

Increasing Family Communication

Job Changes

Friends Who Cause Stress

Positive Stress Events

Family Moves

Eliminating Stressful Activities

Supportive Church Community

Expected Events that Don’t Happen

Education Level

Table 2. Student Example Table

Intermediate Codes

Grouped Intermediate Codes

Resulting Theme

Green

Red

Primary Colors

Blue-Violet

Yellow

Red

Blue

Blue

Violet

Secondary Colors

Violet

Orange

Red-Orange

Green

Orange

Red-Violet

Tertiary Colors

Yellow

Yellow-Orange

Red-Violet

Yellow Green

Yellow-Orange

Blue-Green

Yellow Green

Blue-Violet

Blue-Green

Red-Orange

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