In the second of a series of “how-to” essays on conducting qualitative data analysis, Ron Chenail argues the process can best be understood as a metaphoric process. From this orientation he suggests researchers follow Kenneth Burke’s notion of metaphor and see qualitative data analysis as the analyst systematically considering the “this-ness” of the data from the “that-ness” of the qualitative abstraction drawn about the data. To make this metaphoric pronouncement a convincing case to judges as to the veracity of the juxtaposition of the code to that which is coded, the analyst must employ a recursive process by showing the presence of the qualities of the unit of analysis in the product of the qualitative analysis as evidence of the quality of the analysis itself. This evidentially recursive act must be made overtly because in qualitative data analysis, the data do not speak for themselves.


Qualitative Data Analysis, Metaphor, Evidence, Unit of Analysis, Recursion, and Qualitative Research

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