The Society for Social Work and Research

2014 Annual Conference

January 15-19, 2014 I Grand Hyatt San Antonio I San Antonio, TX

Coding for Social Change: Methodological Approaches and Coding in Qualitative Research for Researchers and Advocates

Friday, January 17, 2014: 2:30 PM-4:15 PM
HBG Convention Center, Room 103B Street Level (San Antonio, TX)
Cluster: Mental Health
T. Marie Maschi, PhD, Fordham University, Wendy Myers White, BSW, Georgia State University and Sharon Bowland, PhD, University of Louisville
Qualitative research and the use of personal stories is an important tool for social change because of their humanizing effect on those who are traditionally marginalized and stigmatized. This workshop will elucidate the usefulness of qualitative methods in refining our understanding of theoretical concepts and their contribution to theory development and advocacy. An often fuzzy area for researchers is the qualitative data analysis (QDA) process and how these findings can be used to advocate for socially just causes. In this experiential workshop, three researchers will present their QDA strategies using content analysis, narrative, and grounded theory analysis with historically marginalized populations to illustrate the coding process and how these findings can be used for advocacy. The first researcher will guide participants through a content analysis approach of deductive (preexisting categories) and inductive (emergent categories) to examine the experiences of multi-level trauma and stress and resilient coping among 100 older adults in a Northeastern U.S. prison.  In the second study, a narrative analysis will be used to story transition experiences of trauma among women living in budget hotels. The third researcher will describe the use of a classic grounded theory approach with older African-American women survivors of interpersonal trauma. Women living in low-income housing were interviewed about their needs, concerns, and strategies for coping with traumatic experience. Analysis procedures examining patterns and emerging concepts will be illustrated in a step-by-step manner. 1) The presenters will describe the process of selecting the qualitative methods used in their funded research studies, 2) how they coded their data, 3) how they deduced several themes and concepts, 4) how they moved data from a basic descriptive to a conceptual level, and 5) how they developed conceptual models. 6) Participants will also have the opportunity to explore their own challenges in choosing and employing qualitative methods. 7) Participants will be guided in practicing techniques to segment or code sample transcript data and create temporal accounts of lived experiences that capture respondent’s individual and collective voices. 8) Demystifying audit trails and memo writing will also be discussed. 9) Participants will identify strategies for their own research based on what they are learning in this workshop. 10) Finally, the researchers will discuss how they used or plan to use their findings to advance social change using academic, social media, and other creative channels of dissemination and advocacy.
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