help with coding process

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    Hello Everybody and Happy Easter!

    I am struggling with coding process. I have to say that I am quite new in qualitative methods in general but I have to get acquainted as I am using GTM in my MA thesis. More specifically, I use this methods to investigate the feeling of soviet-nostalgia. So far, the categories I found useful to code this phenomenon are:

    object of longing (concrete, ideal) Finding: welfare system, utopian society, traditional life style),

    type of remembering (by juxtaposition or justification)

    vision of the present (positive, negative)

    manifestations of nostalgia  (soft, hard) Finding: idealization of nature, societal relations, communities life),

    world view informing the feeling of nostalgia (pre-modern, modern, post-modern) Finding: soviet, indigenous

    Does it make any sense?

    Pat Bazeley

    Hi Giulia,

    Yep – that makes good sense, and nicely categorised. 

    If you are using GT, you will also want to code the more descriptive elements as well – what context (conditions) these phenomena arose in, what their consequences were for those experiencing them (which is probably what your manifestations group is about?). (If you use software to code, make sure the codes for each of these aspects ‘connect’, i.e. are all present on the same passage, so you can use the computer to locate all the patterns of connection later)

    Also, be sure tokeep notes (memos) about the linkages between these things that you are noticing as you move along.



    Hello Pat


    Thanks a lot for your tips. At the moment I am not making linkages but it sounds useful!  




    Pat Bazeley

    If you’re using grounded theory, it’s essential to make linkages between concepts – primarily between conditions, actions/interactions/strategies (i.e. processes), and consequences. You cannot simply report on thematic categories and call your work grounded theory (“theory” implies/demands relationships).



    I have been told the same to another scholar. I am thinking to use then Qualitative Content Analysis. I don’t have experience neither with this method but it sounds “easier” and with less pretence, as the one to create a theory.





    Ok. I don’t want to give up actually

    Here a tentative of categorizing the phenomenon of nostalgia on the base of your advice. I am dealing with linkages. Not so smoothly process… 

    I have one (actually many in regards) what are conditions-processes-consequences? Categories? Concepts?


    The phenomenon of nostalgia



    Social identity crisis following “social trauma” (revolutions, war, fast changes)

    Space and time experienced as fragmented category




    –  awaking of past dreams, past visions, past expectations

    – questioning of social system and moral order

    – (potentiality of) revealing the fallacy of existing structure, and generate constructive  responses

    – working thorough the mechanisms of remembering by juxtaposition and justification



    –  devlopping of patterns of adaptation to cope with  experiences perceivd as fragmented

    – eventually, change of social structures

    Pat Bazeley

    You’re doing well! It is making sense to me as a reader without experience of your data, which is a good sign.

    Re categories and concepts – Corbin & Strauss, in their texts (mostly written by Corbin), generally use ‘concepts’ to describe detailed (open) codes, and categories for a higher order term that groups several similar concepts (although a friend who was a student of Strauss says that he used the terms interchangeably). I tend to use them fairly interchangeably, though concept to me means something more abstract than a category (so, the opposite of Corbin). The point is, don’t get too ‘hung up’ on the terminology.

    I would recommend you read Chapters 5 and 12 of the latest (3rd) edition of the Corbin and Strauss (Sage, 2008) text – it’s a book that should be readily available to you. These two chapters deal with theoretical integration (the first is didactic, the second is a detailed example), and they will help you see how you can pull your ideas together. 


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