A question about different kinds of relationships in qualitative data-please help

Home Forums Methodspace discussion A question about different kinds of relationships in qualitative data-please help

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
  • #1193

    Hi all,

    I am currently engaged in the third round of my qualitative data analysis which focuses on describing relationships of different main categories identified from a previous analysis.

    My question is about relationships conceptualisation in qualitative data. I have read many qualitative textbooks but did not find any that discusses such issue. I would be very grateful if anyone could recommend a textbook/article where I could get an overview of different notations/schema that could be used to reflect/represent relationships in my qualitative data, specifically to name and distinguish different types of relationships that could be identified in qualitative data.

    Looking forward to hearing any suggestions you might have which would be very much appreciated.


    Dave Collingridge

    In looking for associations, are you interested in running data analyses on your qualitative data? 


    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your reply. I have done much of my data analysis which led to the identification of a number of main categories and I am now interested in exploring different kinds of relationships between these categories, specifically how to capture, describe, and represent different types of relationships.

    Hopefully others would share their experience.


    Steve Moran

    Try looking at an innovation process called TRIZ, invented by a Russian librarian.

    It looks at the entities and relationships between that compose materials, systems and situations.



    Stephen Gorard

    I think you are being misled in drawing such sharp distinctions between types of data. The main difference you refer to by using the Q-word is usually only about the method of data collection. If we are looking for co-variation between two things (to take one obvious example of a relationship) once methodological factors have been eliminated as an explanation for the apparent pattern, then it makes no difference at all whether the data is from observation, text, secondary official data, interview, focus group, survey (ftf, internet, postal…) to name a few possibilities. How convincing a claim to a relationship is depends on design, scale, quality of data etc. You can propose any relationship you want. Then you have to warrant it by providing evidence that it is the simplest explanation of what you found.


    Hi Fatmah,

    Have you read about conceptualization in grounded theory methodology? I suggest you check out the Grounded Theory Institute website. See the publications and articles there by Barney Glaser.


    Saleh Ali

    I think reviewing the literature of grounded theory can help. Glaser and others gave some examples of the relationships between the main groups. Cathy Uquart has a good book about grounded theory.


    Hi Fatmah, Saleh and colleagues,

    There is an interesting article that explains conceptual relationships in qualitative data quite well. You may want to take a look.  Look at figure 5.

    LaRossa, R. (2005). Grounded theory methods and qualitative family research. Journal of Marriage and Family, volume 67, November, pp 837-857.


    Pat Bazeley

    In my book:  Qualitative Data Analysis: Practical Strategies (Sage 2013) I have 3 chapters to cover describing, comparing and identifying relationships in coded data (after having already covered strategies for coding and connecting data). These are followed by further chapters on developing theory, and on developing coherent understanding from qualitative data. You will find multiple ideas there to choose from and work with.

    Another book you might find helpful in providing a classification for relationships (e.g., based on linguistic relations) is Bernard, H. R., & Ryan, G. W.  Analyzing qualitative data: systematic approaches (Sage 2010).

    Raymond Padilla

    For a detailed discussion, point your browser to:


    then download the free pdf titled “Delta Logic and Concept Modeling”.

    Hope this helps.

    Ray Padilla

    HyperQual Developer

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.