In this article I discuss cluster analysis as an exploratory tool to support the identification of associations within qualitative data. While not appropriate for all qualitative projects, cluster analysis can be particularly helpful in identifying patterns where numerous cases are studied. I use as illustration a research project on Latino grievances to offer a detailed explanation of the main steps in cluster analysis, providing specific considerations for its use with qualitative data. I specifically describe the issues of data transformation, the choice of clustering methods and similarity measures, the identification of a cluster solution, and the interpretation of the data in a qualitative context.
Cluster Analysis, Qualitative Analysis, Data Exploration, Mixed Methods
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Recommended APA Citation
Macia, L. (2015). Using Clustering as a Tool:Mixed Methods in Qualitative Data Analysis. The Qualitative Report, 20(7), 1083-1094. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol20/iss7/9