Encyclopedia Entry

Thematic Coding and Analysis

Lioness Ayres

Thematic analysis is a data reduction and analysis strategy by which qualitative data are segmented, categorized, summarized, and reconstructed in a way that captures the important concepts within the data set. Thematic analysis is primarily a descriptive strategy that facilitates the search for patterns of experience within a qualitative data set; the product of a thematic analysis is a description of those patterns and the overarching design that unites them. Thematic coding is the strategy by which data are segmented and categorized for thematic analysis. Thematic coding is a strategy of data reduction, in contrast to the axial and open coding strategies characteristic of grounded theory research, which enrich and complicate data through the inclusion of analytic insights and inquiries used. In thematic coding, the analyst frequently begins with a list of themes known (or at least anticipated) to be found in the data. When data for thematic analysis are ...

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