Gibbs, Graham R. (2004) Narrative analysis and NVivo. In: Strategies in Qualitative Research Conference, 1-3 September 2004, University of Durham. (Unpublished)

Many undertaking narrative analysis can see little use for CAQDAS. I will suggest ways in which coding and searching in NVivo are useful in supporting a narrative analysis.

I distinguish those aspects of qualitative data analysis that are concerned with the careful organisation and management of research and those that are concerned with interpretation. The organisation and management of research is an important aspect of analysis which contributes to the quality of analytic work. Moreover, whilst interpretation is the preserve of the human analyst, other aspects of analysis can be enhanced by the use of NVivo.

I examine the use of the text search facility in NVivo both to get to know the data and to find particular language use, such as metaphors, accounts and narrative moves. There are some strategies that can be used to improve the searching and to record what has been searched for. I will also consider the use of coding in narrative analysis, and explain how this coding can be used to promote the reading of transcripts when developing an analysis. Such coding is not done primarily to support comparisons or matrix searches, but to underpin the analysis of the narratives in the text. This will be illustrated from a project examining student motivations for study

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