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Phenomena-centered Text Analysis (PTA): a new approach to foster the qualitative paradigm in text analysis

Published: 6 December 2021

Abstract: Content or text analysis is one of the most common evaluation methods employed in qualitative research. Despite its wide application, however, a clear structure of how such evaluation should be conducted is often lacking due to the complexity of qualitative data. As a consequence, highly differentiated category systems with small-step subdivisions of categories and sub-categories are often used, leading to a loss of context both among categories and for the content as a whole. The aim of this paper is to describe the Phenomena-centered Text Analysis (PTA) as a novel form of qualitative text analysis, which takes these shortcomings into account by focusing on text-inherent phenomena. These phenomena are identified in two preceding quantitative analysis steps that identifying overlapping coding for subsequently qualitative analysis. We explain the structured code- and context-based approach of this new method and demonstrate its application with an empirical example. The PTA contributes to an increasing demand of qualitative methods especially for small-scale projects that need a structured kind of qualitative data analysis.
Keywords: Content analysis / Text analysis / Qualitative research / Social research / Qualitative coding / Qualitative methods

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