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Quality in the analysis of qualitative data

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Title: Quality in the analysis of qualitative data


1
Quality in the analysis of qualitative
data Clive Seale Brunel University, UK
2
Quantitative research The researcher counts
phenomena that are known to exist, establishing
their distribution, co-occurrence and causal
links. Methodological procedures are strongly
specified. Stages of research (planning,
hypothesis formation, data collection, analysis)
are sequential and separate.
3
Qualitative research The researcher discovers
new phenomena, often through re-interpreting ones
that are thought to be already known. Meanings
are thereby investigated, disrupted and
changed. Methodological procedures are loosely
specified. Stages of research are interactive,
sequenced in unpredictable ways.
4
Learn from both traditions The quality of
qualitative research is improved by using
numbers The quality of quantitative research is
improved by attention to meaning and
interpretation at all stages.
5
Avoid this kind of paradigm rivalry this book
marks the end of an era. It signals a turning
point in the history of qualitative research in
American sociology. At the very moment that this
work finds its place in the libraries of scholars
and students, it is being challenged by a new
body of work coming from the neighboring fields
of anthropology and cultural studies.
Post-Geertzian anthropologists (Marcus, Tyler,
Clifford, Bruner, Turner, Pratt, Asad, Rosaldo,
Crapanzano, Fischer, Rabinow) are now writing on
the politics and poetics of ethnography. They are
taking seriously the question How do we write
culture? They are proposing that postmodern
ethnography can no longer follow the guidelines
of positivist social science. Gone are words like
theory, hypothesis, concept, indicator, coding
scheme, sampling, validity, and reliability. In
their place comes a new language readerly texts,
modes of discourse, cultural poetics,
deconstruction, interpretation, domination,
feminism, genre, grammatology, hermeneutics,
inscription, master narrative, narrative
structures, otherness, postmodernism, redemptive
ethnography, semiotics, subversion, textuality,
tropes. Denzin, N.K. (1988) Qualitative
analysis for social scientists Contemporary
Sociology. 17 (3) 430-2. (Book review of
Strauss, A.L. (1987) Qualitative Analysis for
Social Scientists. Cambridge Cambridge
University Press.)
6
Validity and Reliability in the quantitative
tradition 1. Reliability / replicability 2.
Internal validity / adequacy of causal
statements a. Measurement validity / adequacy of
concept-indicator links (face, criterion,
construct validity etc) 3. External validity /
generalisability
7
Conceptual proliferation A comprehensive
review identified successor validity, catalytic
validity, interrogated validity, transgressive
validity, imperial validity, simulacra / ironic
validity, situated validity, and voluptuous
validity. (Altheide and Johnson 1994,
p.488). But they missed apparent,
instrumental and theoretical validity (Kirk
and Miller 1986) And on reliability
note quixotic, diachronic and synchronic
reliability (Kirk and Miller 1986) ltheide,
D.L. and Johnson, J.M. (1994) Criteria for
assessing interpretive validity in qualitative
research in Denzin, N.K. and Lincoln, Y.S. (eds)
Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks
Sage. pp 485-499 Kirk, J. and Miller, M. (1986)
Reliability and Validity in Qualitative Research
Newbury Park Sage.
8
Lincoln and Gubas (1985) translation of
terms Conventional inquiry Naturalistic
inquiry Truth value (Internal validity)
Credibility Applicability (External validity)
Transferability Consistency
(Reliability) Dependability Neutrality
(Objectivity) Confirmability Lincoln, Y.S.
and Guba, E. (1985). Naturalistic Enquiry.
Beverly Hills Sage.
9
Authenticity fairness the research has
represented a range of different
realities ontological authenticity - the
research has helped members develop more
sophisticated understandings of the phenomenon
being studied educative authenticity the
research has helped members appreciate the
viewpoints of people other than
themselves catalytic authenticity the
research has stimulated some form of action
tactical authenticity the research has
empowered members to act Guba, E.G. and Lincoln,
Y.S. (1994) Competing paradigms in qualitative
research in Denzin, N.K. and Lincoln, Y.S. (eds)
) Handbook of Qualitative Research Thousand Oaks
Sage. pp. 105-117.
10
Legislators and interpreters The typically
modern strategy…is one best characterised by the
metaphor of the legislator role. It consists of
making authoritative statements which arbitrate
in controversies…The authority to arbitrate is in
this case legitimised by superior (objective)
knowledge…access to which is better thanks to
procedural rules which assure the attainment of
truth… The typically post-modern strategy…is one
best characterised by the metaphor of the
interpreter role. It consists of translating
statements, made within one communally based
tradition, so that they can be understood within
the system of knowledge based on another
tradition…facilitating communication… and
preventing the distortion of meaning… The
post-modern strategy does not imply the
elimination of the modern one...nor does the
post-modern mode constitute an advance over the
modern one… Bauman, Z. (1987) Legislators and
interpreters. Cambridge Polity.
11
Realism Idealism Subtle realism
Criteria for subtle realists 1. Plausibility
- is the account consistent with existing
knowledge or does it challenge this? 2.
Credibility Is there sufficient evidence for
claims made. Strongest evidence needed for more
central claims 3. Relevance how does it relate
to practical concerns / value positions? Hammers
ley, M. (1992) Whats Wrong With Ethnography
Methodological Explorations. London Routledge.
12
How researchers can use methodological
debate Dont try to solve philosophical
problems though research practice Use paradigm
positions as resources for thinking Develop
methodological awareness through exposure to a
variety of methodological discussions. Seale
C.F. (1999) The quality of qualitative research.
London Sage.
13
  • Some skills for qualitative researchers
  • Triangulation
  • Searching for negative instances / analytic
    induction
  • Member validation / participatory action
    research
  • Generating grounded theory
  • Knowing when to do quantitative work (and how to
    do it)
  • Use of low inference descriptors
  • Reflexive reporting
  • Experimental writing / use of poetry/drama

14
  • Triangulation
  • Data
  • Investigator
  • Method

15
An example of the triangulation of
methods Subject social scientists attitudes to
media coverage of their research. Methods
quantitative and qualitative research methods
were combined, including a structured mail
questionnaire survey and semi-structured
interviews. Result of comparison the
quantitative method (the mail questionnaire)
suggested that the social scientists were
generally positive about how the media covered
their work, whilst the more qualitative
(semi-structured) interviews revealed their views
to be far more negative. Therefore data
re-examined to understand this whilst the social
scientists were generally satisfied with the
media reporting of their research, they were much
more critical of specific instances in which they
felt the media had represented their research in
a negative light. Deacon, D., Bryman, A. and
Fenton, N. (1998) Collision or collusion? a
discussion of the unplanned triangulation of
quantitative and quantitative research methods,
International Journal of Social Research
Methodology, 1 47-63.
16
Cicourels triangulation The triangulation
procedure varies with the research problem. When
gathering information on language acquisition in
the home setting we left a tape recorder for
about one hour during lunch. A transcription of
the tape was done by a typist who had been
instructed to render a verbatim record. Then the
transcript, the first version of this scene, was
read by the mother while she listened to the
tape her comments produced another version of
the interaction. The typist was next asked to
listen again to the tape and to describe what she
thought was going on, correcting her original
transcript as she deemed necessary. In this
elaboration and correction a different version of
the scene was always produced. My phonetic
transcription of the tapes created still another
version...The reader could now say that we should
have simply combined the different versions to
produce the best one possible, but the point is
that different versions could have been produced
indefinitely by simply hiring different typists
and providing the mother with different
transcripts. (Cicourel 1974, p. 124)
17
Version 1 Doctor Its very hard to be
absolutely dogmatic about any predictions with
these things. But despite all of those things, in
the majority of people the disease does come
back, even from the beginning. Patient
Yes, Doctor And if it does come back,
we can try other drugs which may control it for a
little while, but generally all that you can try
and do is control the symptoms. Patient Yes
Mm. Doctor Uhm, the first time gives us the
best chance for a longer survival, hopefully long
term, but the odds are generally against that.
But if our emphasis we do nothing for these
sorts of diseases, it kills you within a couple
of months. Wife The breakdown could be that
quick could it? Patient Mmm Doctor Well
actually its quite spectacularly
fast. (Seale and Silverman 1997381)
18
Version 2 1 D But er despite all of those
things, in the majority 2 of people the disease
does come back 3 (0.8) 4 D even from the
beginning. 5 P Yes 6 D And (0.4) if it does
come back we can try 7 other drugs which may
control it for a little while 8 P mm
um 9 D but generally all that you can try and
do is control 10 the symptoms. 11 P Yes
mm. 12 D Uhm, the first time gives us the best
chance 13 for a longer (0.5) survival hopefully
long term 14 P hhm 15 D but the odds are
generally against that. 16 P Yes um
(0.4) 17 D But if we do nothing for these sorts
of diseases it 18 kills you within a couple of
months. 19 P Yes (Seale and Silverman
1997 382)
19
Overall, would you say that life Brings out
the best in you? 1 Treats you like everybody
else? 2 Doesn't give you a chance? 3
20
  • 1 I. overall would you say ?that ?life brings
  • 2 ?out (0.2) the ?best in you
  • 3 R. ?yes
  • 4 I. treats you like everybody ?else
  • 5 R. ?yes
  • 5 I. or doesnt give a chance
  • 7 R. eh?
  • 8 (1.0)
  • 9 I. what gtdo you think ?thatlt (0.2) life (0.2)
  • 10 brings out the best in ?you
  • 11 (0.5)
  • 12 or ( )
  • 13 R. yeah the ?best yeah yeah
  • 14 I. right (0.5) so thats ?your (0.2) your
  • 15 answer ?yeah life .gtbrlt life brings
  • 16 R. ?yes yes
  • 17 I. out the best in you does it?
  • 18 ((some lines omitted))
  • 19 I. okay (0.2) so of those ?three (o.2) you
    think

21
1 Doc Lets have a listen at the back
then 2 Baby aaaaaaaaa 3 Moth
just her chest I could 4 hear her wheezing
it was carrying around ( ) 5 Baby

aaaaaaaaaaaa 6 Doc its all right
its allrigh ( ) 7 Baby
aaaaaaa 8 Moth oh shell chuck every
( ) 9 Baby
aaaaa 10 Doc ooh look at those ya hah HAH
you cant ( ) 11 Moth (
) 12 Baby mmmmmaaaaaaa 13 Doc oh
darling 14 Baby aaaaaaaaaaa AAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaa 15 Moth come
on 16 big breath 17 Baby
aaauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuaaa 18 Doc heh
okay 19 Baby .hhh AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaa
uuuuu 20 Doc
?theres a good gi?rl 21 Baby .hhhh
aaaaaAAAAAAAAiiiiiiiiii 22 Moth
look at that 23 Baby aaaaaaa .hhhhh
aaaaa 24 Moth bunnee ?bunnee 25 Doc what
s that ?whats that aaa ?thats
nice 26 Moth aa thats nice 27 Baby aaaaaaaa
mmmmmmm AAAAAAAAAAAAAA 28 Moth
there come on calm down 29 Baby .hhhhh
aaaAAAAA AAA 30 Doc
?okay 31 Moth can you hear anything 32 Baby aa
aAAAAAA 33 Doc its actually not sounding too bad
22
  • ((from here on babys cries, which are continuous
    with short breaks for breath, are not
    transcribed))
  • 34 Doc I think its just (0.5) shes so in pain
    with the teeth coming through
  • 35 Moth yeh
  • 36 Doc that thats whats causing the problem
  • 37 Moth so you dont think shes (
    )
  • 38 Doc how long has she been poorly for now
  • 39 Moth um very wheezy for the last (.) she's
    had the cough for the last
  • 40 krkrkrkrkrkrkrkrkrkkrkrkrkrkrk
    rkrkrkrkrkrkrkrkrkrk
  • 41 Moth three or four days
  • 42 Doc right okay okay (1.2) I'll just have
    another whiz around ( )
  • 43 kr krrr kr
  • 44 Doc and I'll just check her ears (1.0) see if
    she's brewing something in there (0.5)
  • 45 allright darling heart (0.4) it's all right,
    sweetheart
  • 46 Moth oh no
  • 47 Doc ( ) (3.0)
  • 48 thats a good girl thats ?fine (0.2)
    ?thats a good girl (0.3)
  • 49 Moth my ?dear (heres a ) quick tissue
  • 50 Doc ah there

23
Dct I think it's just that she's so in pain
with the teeth coming through, that that's
what's causing the problem. Mum You don't
think she's (unclear - baby cries)… Dct How
long has she been poorly for now? Mum Um, very
wheezy for the last… she's had the cough for the
last three or four days. Dct Right, okay,
okay. I'll just have another whiz round, and
I'll just check her ears, just in case she's
brewing something in there. All right, darling
heart, it's all right, sweetheart. Oh… (baby
cries again) That's a good girl, that's fine.
Good girl. There's a good girl. (baby carries
on crying). Okay, that's fine as well. Okay.
What I'm going to do is I'm going to give you
some Calpol in order to try and settle her
temperature. Mum We've got a little bottle at
home. Dct I'll get you some more, okay, to
settle her temperature nicely. And I would give
it another 24 or 48 hours, okay. I'll print you
some further information from…
24
  • Three uses for deviant cases (qualitative
    research)
  • Deviant cases that provide additional support for
    the analysts conclusions, perhaps by showing
    participants acknowledging that an event is
    unusual.
  • Deviant cases that require modification of the
    analysts emerging ideas.
  • The deviant case is considered exceptional for
    good, explainable reasons.
  • (After Peräkylä 1997)

25
Deviant case leads to modification of
ideas Original finding Jeffery, R. (1979)
Normal rubbish deviant patients in casualty
departments'. Sociology of Health and Illness, 1
(1) 90-107 Study of typifications / stereotypes
of staff concerning adult patients in hospital
casualty departments 'Bad' patients have
problems deemed to be trivial, or were drunks,
tramps or victims of self-harm. 'Good' patients
have problems which allowed doctors to practice
and learn new clinical skills, or test the
professional knowledge-of staff.
26
Deviant case leads to modification of ideas
(contd) Deviant case Dingwall, R. and Murray,
T. (1983) 'Categorisation in Accident
Departments "Good" Patients, "Bad" Patients and
Children', Sociology of Health and Illness, 5
(2) 121-48. Children in casualty departments
rather than adults often exhibited the qualities
of the 'bad' adult patients, being uncooperative
for example, or suffering from mild or self
inflicted injuries. Yet staff did not treat them
harshly / consider them 'bad' patients. Resultant
modification The labels (eg 'good', 'bad')
applied by staff depend on whether patients are
perceived as being able to make choices (children
were not, adults were, on the whole). Children
were thus 'forgiven' as they were understandably
'irresponsible'
27
Deviant cases give additional support Seale CF.
(1995) Dying alone. Sociology of Health and
Illness 17, 3, 376-392. Emerging
generalisation People were mostly concerned to
demonstrate their moral adequacy by emphasising
that this was an unwelcome event, and that had
they been able they would have wanted to be
present at the death.
28
Deviant cases give additional support
(contd) Deviant cases Five people who said
they had not wanted to be present at the death of
a person who died alone For example, the wife
of a publican said that her husband's long
standing alcoholism had left her feeling little
warmth for him her reason for wishing she had
been there was to save her employee the distress
of finding the body. In each case the deviation
from the ideal of 'being there' was associated
with some alternative strategy for defending
speaker's action / feelings as morally
defensible. Conclusion These are alternative
strategies for establishing the speaker's
membership within the moral community, that do
not contradict the notion that for most people
this is achieved by saying they wanted to be
present at the death.
29
  • Degrees of member validation in realist
    paradigm
  • WEAK VERSION
  • Quite commonly, researchers give people
    transcripts of interviews to check their
    accuracy.
  • Bloor gave doctors his accounts of their decision
    rules to check for accuracy.
  • Ball presented and discussed an interim report on
    school activities to the school - ran a
    discussion group on the report.
  • Discuss the full report with the people whose
    situations it describes
  • STRONG VERSION

30
Nurses speak of surgeons as seeing themselves as
above infection. An infection control nurse
commented You very seldom find both surgeon and
anaesthetist with masks adjusted properly.
Student nurses, on the other hand look as if they
practice in front of the mirror, so perfectly
straight are their masks. Nurses are told to wear
them whenever in theatre... So perhaps it is
simply an issue of status, and the degree of
compliance with masking routine is inversely
related to the position in the hierarchy... as
has been seen in the above extracts, nurses are
aware of the doubtful value of masks, yet it is
the doctors who flout the rules, yet are silent
over this matter. Fox then quotes a doctor
saying Nurses are very conservative and fairly
rigid in their outlook. They are by far the best
people for maintaining surgical sterility.
Fox, N.J. (1992) The Social Meaning of
Surgery. Buckingham Open University Press. p.26
31
  • Nurses speak of surgeons as seeing themselves as
    above infection.
  • An infection control nurse commented You very
    seldom find both surgeon and anaesthetist with
    masks adjusted properly.
  • Student nurses, on the other hand look as if they
    practice in front of the mirror, so perfectly
    straight are their masks.
  • Nurses are told to wear them whenever in
    theatre...
  • So perhaps it is simply an issue of status, and
    the degree of compliance with masking routine is
    inversely related to the position in the
    hierarchy...
  • as has been seen in the above extracts, nurses
    are aware of the doubtful value of masks, yet it
    is the doctors who flout the rules, yet are
    silent over this matter.
  • Fox then quotes a doctor saying Nurses are
    very conservative and fairly rigid in their
    outlook. They are by far the best people for
    maintaining surgical sterility.
  • Fox, N.J. (1992) The Social Meaning of Surgery.
    Buckingham Open University Press. p.26

32
Wearing of protective clothing by doctors and
nursing personnel in hospital
Times Percentages
entered wearing
room Cap Gown Mask Doctors 47
5 0 5 Professional nurses 100 24
18 14 Practical nurses 121 86 45
46 Aides 142 94 80 72 Students
97 100 100 100 Practical nurses were of
a lower grade than professional nurses Roth, J.
(1957) Ritual and magic in the control of
contagion. American Sociological Review. 22
310-314. p.312, Table 2)
33
(No Transcript)
34
  • Establishing the typicality of a case
  • Take a case on the basis of it representing the
    future
  • Provide full details of context to inform
    judgements of transferability to other cases
  • Take a case typical of a cluster of
    characteristics
  • Study more than one case
  • - team research to study different cases
  • - chooses cases on the basis of broader
    statistical picture

35
Table 5.10 Good and bad schools'
policy Good school
Score No subjects taken by
pupils at age 16 or younger where allocation is
wholly determined by sex
1 Measures arc not taken to ensure a
balance of the sexes in streams or bands

1 A rotational craft system operates
1 A course
in women's studies operates
1 A member of staff or group of
teachers have special interest/responsibility
for promoting the policy
1 The policy has been discussed in meetings
of Governors
1 Parent-teacher
associations
1 Staff
1 Pupils
arc informed in option booklets that all
subjects arc open to both sexes
1 Total possible score

9
36
Bad school Score Pupils at age 16 or
younger are allocated to certain subjects on
the grounds of their sex
1 Measures are taken to balance the
sexes in streams or bands 1 No staff
with interest/responsibility in the policy
1 Subject not discussed by Governors

1 Parent-teacher associations
1 Staff meetings

1 Pupils informed in options booklet that
technical subjects are for boys, home economics
for girls 1 Total
possible score
7
37
Five schools selected for case studies Midland
Comprehensive 11-18 comprehensive 720 pupils
Midlands city centre catchment Labour LEA
amalgamation of two single-sex schools poor
situation and catchment 50 per cent of pupils
non-European background positive discrimination
policy towards non-traditional choice, pioneered
by headteacher. Inner City Comprehensive 11-18
comprehensive 850 pupils London city centre
catchment Labour LEA popular school with active
equal opportunities policy promoted by dynamic
headteacher and widely supported by
staff. Northern Modern 11-16 secondary
modern 760 pupils mainly council estate
catchment northern region Conservative LEA
head least sympathetic to equal opportunities of
all we visited. Smallchange Secondary 12-18
secondary modern 720 pupils in southern rural
catchment Conservative LEA passive view of
equal opportunities. Oldboys Grammar 11-18
grammar school in prosperous London suburb 700
pupils Conservative LEA highly traditional
atmosphere and emphasis on academic excellence
little concern with equal opportunities.

38
Sieber's (1979) study sampling within a
case our own fieldwork... developed into a study
of school boards, superintendents, and the
leaders of the high school teachers. After
conducting a survey, however, I was able to
correct certain impressions that emerged from my
elite bias. This can be shown quite simply. Prior
to looking at the results of the survey, I
predicted the proportion of teachers who would
respond in particular ways to the survey
questions. I then compared my predictions with
the actual responses. It became obvious when
observing these comparisons that I had
unwittingly adopted the elites version of
reality. For example, I overestimated the extent
to which teachers felt that the administration
accepted criticism. Here are the relevant
questions and the statistics "Do you think that
teachers who are interested in administrative
openings jeopardize their opportunities in this
district by voicing criticism of present school
policies and practices?" ( responding
"definitely" and "possibly")
39
Predicted Observed System A 40 60 System
B 40 65
40
Similarly, I had assumed that the teachers were
more satisfied with evaluative procedures than
was in fact the case All in all, how well do
you think the evaluation of teachers is done in
your school?" ( responding "as well as
possible" and "fairly well") Predicted Obs
erved System A Elementary............
80 65 Secondary............ 50 36 System
B Elementary............ 80 74
Secondary............ 75 56 Although to a
lesser extent, I also overestimated the
rank-and-file support for the leaders of the
teachers association, with whom I had spent a
good deal of time. In short, I had fallen prey to
the elite bias, despite recent training in the
dangers of giving greater weight to prestigious
figures as informants. (1979 1353)
41
Ways of using numbers to enhance qualitative
research 1. The logic of triangulation 2.
Qualitative research facilitates quantitative
research 3. Quantitative research facilitates
qualitative research 4. Quantitative and
qualitative research are combined in order to
produce a general picture 5. Structure and
process 6. Researchers and subjects
perspectives 7. The problem of generality 8.
Qualitative research may facilitate the
interpretation of relations between
variables (Source adapted from Bryman 1988
131-151)
42
Qualitative research facilitates quantitative
research The guiding principle in the interviews
was to get informants to talk about what was
important to them when implementing statewide
testing programs. These findings provided the
outline for the development of the survey
instrument. The interview data revealed five
themes around which a series of questions were
developed. The themes included the contexts in
which the districts operated, the responses the
districts made to tests, the strategies they
employed to carry out those responses, the uses
to which the tests were put, and the effects of
the tests. In addition to the major themes around
which the questions were organized, the interview
data also offered specific information for the
wording of survey questions. Thus, the
qualitative data in phase one of the study were
designed to inform the development of the survey
in phase two. (Rossman and Wilson 1994
322-323)
43
  • Quantitative and qualitative research are
    combined to produce a general picture
  • What was found in McKeganey's qualitative study
  • Five types of needle sharing
  • accidental
  • due to necessity where, for example, no other
    means of injection were available
  • due to intense needs in withdrawal
  • when an injector believes another person to be
    clean
  • in settings where a social norm of reciprocal
    favours was strong.
  • Factors that seemed to affect propensity to
    share
  • Women more likely than men to share with sexual
    partners.
  • Social distance of person shared with
  • Length of drug injecting experience

44
Vignettes of needle sharing experiences Borrowing
Vignette 1 I want you to imagine that you are
with your steady partner. You have both just
scored and you both have your own tools (needle
and syringe). The two of you are in a stairwell
of a block of flats preparing to inject but your
needle has just blocked. Would you 1. Go away
and try and get a new set of works (needle and
syringe). 2. Ask your partner if you could use
his/hers saying that you can wash them out with
the bottle of water in your pocket… Lending
Vignette 1 I want you to imagine that you are
standing on a street corner. In your pocket you
have a set of works that you used earlier the
same day. Someone that you dont know very well
comes up and says that he/she is strung out, that
he/shes got drugs to hit up but no tools. He/she
asks if you have a set on you. Would you 1. Tell
him/her to get lost. 2. Say that you cant let
him/her have the works in your pocket. 3. Give
him/her a set of tools but tell him/her that they
are your only set and you want them back. 4. Tell
him/her that he/she can use the works in your
pocket but that you dont want them
back. (Source McKeganey et al 1995 1254-1255)
45
Borrowing vignettes (n505) Partner Very good
friend Acquaintance Total Yes () 331
(65.6) 193 (38.2) 64 (12.7) 346 (68.5) No
() 148(29.3) 308 (61.0) 436 (86.3) 141
(27.9) Other () 26(5.1) 4 (0.8) 5
(1.0) 18 (3.6) Total yes number prepared to
borrow on at least one of the vignettes no
number not prepared to borrow on any of the
vignettes. Lending vignettes (n505) Partner
Very good friend Acquaintance Total Yes () 370
(73.3) 398 (78.8) 331 (65.6) 435 (86.1) No ()
99 (19.6) 104 (20.6) 172 (34.0) 63 (12.5) Other
() 36 (7.1) 3 (0.6) 2 (0.4) 7
(1.4) Total yes number prepared to lend on at
least one of the vignettes no number not
prepared to lend on any of the vignettes.
(Source McKeganey et al 1995 Tables 1 and 2)
46
Question about help with care and quantitative
and qualitative replies. 'When you visited, did
you help with (deceased's) care?
Hospice
Hospital 1967-69 47
29 1977-79 85
25 1994-95
49 41 reported as a
statistically significant difference between
groups.
47
Different reasons for helping with care If she
was having a meal and I thought she needed
assistance I would help. I'm happy about my
involvement. There was a happy fellowship and my
family were happy with the services we received.
(Hospice group) I helped with various aspects of
care, partly because I wanted to, and partly
because the nurses were so busy. I shaved him
brushed his hair, washed him. (Hospital
group) Yes sometimes he would be incontinent and
his slippers would be wet, so he developed sores
on his feet. I looked at that and dried his feet.
I brought in food - ice cream and liquid feeds. I
tidied him up in general. (The hospital) were
rationing liquid food so I brought it in myself.
I brought in ice cream too - in fact all his
food. He never ate any of the hospital food.
(Hospital group)
48
Table 1 Interviews, postings and word counts
people with breast and prostate
cancer Breast Prostate Interviews no. of
people 45 52 total words (PWCs
only) 401,252 325,848 Forums no. of people
900 153 no. of posts 10,884 1,873 ave
rage per person 12.1 12.2 total
words 1,361,911 267,459 average per
person 1,513 1,748 average per
post 125.1 142.8 excludes 4 men with breast
cancer
49
Corpus linguistics is the study of language as
expressed in samples (corpora) or "real world"
text. Some typical uses Dictionary
compilation Author attribution The British
National Corpus (or just BNC) is a
100-million-word collection of samples of written
and spoken English from a wide range of sources.
It was compiled as a general corpus (text
collection) in the field of corpus linguistics.
The corpus covers British English of the late
twentieth century from a wide variety of genres
with the intention that it be a representative
sample of spoken and written British English of
that time. In corpus linguistics a keyword is
a word which occurs in a text more often than we
would expect to occur by chance alone. Keywords
are calculated by carrying out a statistical test
(e.g. loglinear) which compares the word
frequencies in a text against their expected
frequencies derived in a much larger corpus,
which acts as a reference for general language
use. Wikipedia 27th September 2007
50
Wordsmith http//www.lexically.net/wordsmith/ Le
xical analysis software Corpus linguistics Keyword
analysis (text compared with reference corpus
(eg BNC)) KWIC keyword in context concordance
51
Table 2a Meaningful words in top 25 positive
keywords comparison of people with prostate and
breast cancer in web forums Key
word Freq. RC.Freq. RC. Keyness PSA 1,164
0.42 1 4,141.74 PROSTATE 1,080 0.39 28
3,606.20 RP 339 0.12 2 1,186.17 PC 377 0.1
4 30 1,142.48 GLEASON 285 0.10 0
1,017.19 PCA 299 0.11 6 1,010.35 REGARDS
393 0.14 111 912.12 RT 290 0.10 44
790.90 BRACHYTHERAPY 151 0.05 0
538.87 MEN 286 0.10 180 0.01
465.20 SCORE 154 0.06 31 393.73 CATHETER 12
8 0.05 14 370.49 UROLOGIST 89 0.03 0
317.60 BLADDER 110 0.04 15
306.32 PROSTATECTOMY 83 0.03 0
296.18 HORMONE 214 0.08 193 0.01
271.52 DAD 177 0.06 125 267.95
52
Table 2b Meaningful words in top 25 negative
keywords comparison of people with prostate and
breast cancer in web forums Key
word Freq. RC.Freq. RC. Keyness CARE 82 0.
03 1,252 0.09 -136.78 NODES 40 0.01 905 0.07
-144.31 ARM 8 586 0.04 -159.25 FEEL 332 0.
12 3,260 0.24 -170.20 MY 2,852 1.03 18,370 1.3
4 -183.42 METS 8 673 0.05
-189.06 THEY 824 0.30 6,577 0.48
-189.11 THINK 386 0.14 3,800 0.28
-199.65 MUM 7 706 0.05 -205.98 X 34 0.01
1,085 0.08 -215.86 ME 1,127 0.41 8,757 0.64
-228.16 WOMEN 22 1,060 0.08
-253.44 I'M 303 0.11 3,508 0.26
-256.03 HAIR 6 834 0.06 -256.91 LUMP 9 1,
008 0.07 -299.87 LOVE 55 0.02 1,681 0.12
-326.67 HER 113 0.04 2,797 0.20
-476.60 SHE 167 0.06 3,330 0.24
-479.34 I 8,174 2.95 53,671 3.91
-624.75 BREAST 40 0.01 3,653 0.27
-1,045.87 CHEMO 16 3,578 0.26 -1,169.09
53
Lexical ambiguity arises when context is
insufficient to determine the sense of a single
word that has more than one meaning. For
example, the word "bank" has several meanings,
including "financial institution" and "edge of a
river", but if someone says "I deposited 100 in
the bank", the intended meaning is clear. More
problematic are words whose senses express
closely related concepts. "Good", for example,
can mean "useful" or "functional" (That's a good
hammer), "exemplary" (She's a good student),
"pleasing" (This is good soup), "moral" (He is a
good person), and probably other similar things.
"I have a good daughter" isn't clear about
which sense is intended. Wikipedia 27th
September 2007
54
Table 3 Example of Keyword in Context (KWIC) and
associated word clusters display Extracts from
Keyword in Context (KWIC) list for the word
scan An MRI scan then indicated it had spread
slightly Fortunately, the MRI scan didnt show
any involvement of the lymph nodes 3 very
worrying weeks later, a bone scan also showed up
clear. The bone scan is to check whether or not
the cancer has spread to the bones. The bone
scan is done using a type of X-ray machine. The
results were terrific, CT scan and pelvic Xray
looked good Your next step appears to be to
await the result of the scan and I wish you well
there. I should go and have an MRI scan and a
bone scan
55
Three-word clusters most frequently associated
with keyword scan N Cluster Freq 1 A BONE
SCAN 28 2 BONE SCAN AND 25 3 AN MRI
SCAN 18 4 MY BONE SCAN 15 5 THE MRI
SCAN 15 6 THE BONE SCAN 14 7 MRI SCAN
AND 12 8 AND MRI SCAN 9 9 SCAN AND MRI 9
56
Table 4 Coding scheme identifying meaningful
categories of keywords
- square brackets are used to give commonly
associated word showing a words predominant
meaning () rounded brackets and sign used
to explain a terms meaning
57
Keyword analysis overall conclusion Provides an
aerial view Features can be detected that
cant be seen from ground level Combined with
conventional qualitative analysis, can be used to
survey very large quantities of text, focusing in
on the unusual and the interesting It is likely
to be reliable because inference is more delayed
than in conventional qualitative analysis based
on coding and retrieval It is creative in the
sense that it breaks boundaries (between qual and
quant) to produce a new way of seeing text
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