This article describes analytic procedures that build upon one another and lead toward interpretation and theory construction in qualitative social work research. Using examples from my own research and the research of others, I show relationships between descriptions, analysis, interpretation, and theorizing. Analytic procedures that move researchers beyond description include reflexivity statements, fieldnotes, group analysis of data, creative thinking, and making conscious choices about when and how to add conceptual material in design and analysis. My thesis is that descriptions are the foundation of both interpretation and theory construction and that descriptions themselves are not simple to do.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research on which this article is based was funded through the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA; the St. Paul Foundation, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA; and the Department of Community Human Services, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA.
© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.
- Qualitative research
- descriptive research
- interpretation theory construction
- qualitative analysis
- qualitative social work research