PHENOMENOLOGICAL DATA ANALYSIS
As with all qualitative data, phenomenological data analysis involves such processes as coding (open, axial, and selective), categorising and making sense of the essential meanings of the phenomenon.
As the researcher works/lives with the rich descriptive data, then common themes or essences begin to emerge.
This stage of analysis basically involves total immersion for as long as it is needed in order to ensure both a pure and a thorough description of the phenomenon.
Method of analysis
The structure of phenomena is the major finding of any descriptive phenomenological inquiry. This structure is based upon the essential meanings that are present in the descriptions of the participants and is determined both by analysis (as detailed below), and also by your (intuitive) insights.
As an overview of how to analyse phenomenological research, we will look at method of analysis as described by Kleiman (2004). Similar processes occur in other types of qualitative research.
Read the interview transcript in its entirety in order to get a global sense of the whole.
Read the interview transcript a second time - this time more slowly - in order to divide the data into meaningful sections or units.
Integrate those sections/units that you have identified as having a similar focus or content and make sense of them.
Subject your integrated meaningful sections/units to a process that is known as free imaginative variation.
Elaborate on your findings - this includes descriptions of the essential meanings that were discovered through the process of free imaginative variation.
Revisit the raw data descriptions again in order to justify your interpretations of both the essential meanings and the general structure. You really do have to prove that you can substantiate the accuracy of all your findings by reference to the raw data.
Once you have completed the analysis of your data, you follow this with a critical analysis of your work within your research study. This critical analysis will include verification that:
a) concrete, detailed descriptions have been obtained from the participants
b) the phenomenological reduction has been maintained throughout the analysis
c) essential meanings have been discovered
d) a structure has been articulated
e) the raw data has verified the results.
Reference: Kleiman S (2004) Phenomenology: to wonder and search for meanings. Nurse Researcher 11(4): 7-19
data analysis analysing data