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Analytical Memo and coding. Use the qualitative lab 1

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1. Code your initial observations. Coding involves reviewing your notes and data line by line, and image by image, as you begin to order patterns. Some people prefer to start coding with no preconceptions and “seeing” the patterns as they emerge. Others prefer having a research question or topic/issue in mind and coding for data that seems relevant. For a gender studies course, you might think about coding for “gender,” but even this is very
oad. Keep a running tab for all the codes you develop – you might have dozens!

2. After coding has been exhausted, begin a new step of thinking about what your codes reveal – do you see ways of analytically linking or grouping codes? Do distinct events share similar codes? If so, you are ready for “re-coding,” or developing your meta-na
ative. Try to fit codes together that seem related or linked, and then re-examine your field notes to see if they reveal something new. If so, write up a paragraph that explains what you think you found. This paragraph will be used as your first part to the analytical memo.

3. Write up an analytical memo. Start with a one-paragraph summary of what you think you “know” after completing your observation and coding. What data support your statement? Can you reframe your statement as a research question? You know you are on the right track if your data can fit back in to help answer your question. After only one observation, it is unlikely that you would have enough data to answer your question, but you might have enough to pose an interesting research question and suggest ways you could answer it. For example, after preliminary observation, you might notice how a restaurant chain’s Twitter feed represents their food as gendered. This could be reframed as a research question like this: “Is the restaurant chain’s feed representing food in gendered ways?” You might use data you collect (e.g., images of men’s and women’s hands and the food they are associated with, what food people are eating, the interaction with other Twitter users, and slogans or posts made on the feed, etc.) to show ways the restaurant chain’s Twitter feed represents food in gendered ways. Then you could test this theory with repeated observation and analysis.

Erin Vang
Qualitative Methods Lab 1
For my online participant observation, I chose to immerse myself in the "Mental Health Wa
iors" Facebook group, a community known for its active discussions and support related to mental health issues. I dedicated a focused 2-hour period to observe the dynamics and interactions within the group.
During my observation, I noticed several common themes and patterns. Members frequently shared personal coping strategies, ranging from mindfulness techniques to creative outlets like art therapy. The discussions often revolved around experiences with mental health treatments, with some members advocating for holistic approaches while others shared their journeys with medication.
One striking aspect was the language and terminology used within the group. Members utilized a supportive and empathetic tone, often using phrases like "You're not alone" and "Sending virtual hugs" to express solidarity. Emojis and GIFs were also commonly used to convey emotions and reactions.
As an observer, I reflected on how my presence might impact group dynamics. While I did not actively participate in discussions during this observation, I noted a sense of openness among members, perhaps facilitated by the anonymity and shared experiences within the online setting.
After the observation period, I reviewed my field notes and digital data, including screenshots of key discussions. I filled in details and reflections to enhance my understanding of the observed interactions. Overall, this experience provided valuable insights into the supportive nature of online communities focused on mental health, highlighting the power of shared experiences and empathy in fostering a sense of belonging and support.
Smith, J XXXXXXXXXXThe Business Case for Prioritizing Mental Health in the Workplace. Harvard Business Review, 98(5), 76-83.
Johnson, L., & Williams, K XXXXXXXXXXCreating a Culture of Psychological Safety: Strategies for Leaders. Harvard Business Review, 99(3), 54-61.
Answered Same Day May 07, 2024


Parul answered on May 08 2024
6 Votes
Code Initial Impressions:
My observations in the "Mental Health Wa
iors" Facebook group were initially coded in an open-minded manner with no prior judgments. Then, following the open coding procedure, I began to code themes regarding coping strategies, treatment experiences, supportive language, and community dynamics. In this process, every line of observation and screenshot is carefully gone through, with relevant codes assigned to them. Initial codes at this stage included ‘Coping Strategies,’ ‘Medication Discussions,’ ‘Empathy and Support,’ and ‘Community Engagement.’
Linking Codes Analytically
After the first round of coding, there were emerging patterns...

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