Did they really say that? An agential realist approach to using computer assisted transcription software in qualitative data analysis

Nicholas Jenkins*, Karen Monaghan, Michael Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Transcription is an integral part of much qualitative data analysis, yet rarely has it received close attention in debates over the use (or non-use) of computer assisted qualitative data analysis soft-ware (CAQDAS). This article draws upon a mixed-methods study that involved transcribing conversational interviews with carers, third sector practitioners and policy-makers, to explore how computer assisted transcription software (CATS) can affect data and its analysis in ways unanticipated at the outset by researchers. From an agential realist perspective, the article out-lines three steps towards making principled choices over the use (or non-use) of CAQDAS in qualitative data analysis. These steps require navigating extremes associated with technological determinism; that we re-think our understandings of the software-data-researcher relationship; and that we move away from asking how well a given CAQDAS can 'perform' and towards ex-ploring what a given CAQDAS can (and cannot) do
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Early online date10 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • CAQDAS
  • computer assisted transcription software
  • agential realism
  • entanglement
  • qualitative data analysis

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