Qualitative Content Analysis: Conceptualizations and Challenges in Research Practice
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionForum Qualitative Sozialforschung. 2019, 20 (3), . 10.17169/fqs-20.3.3393
In this contribution we introduce Part I of the special issue on qualitative content analysis (QCA). We start by describing the rationale on which this special issue is based and our considerations in dividing the topic into two separate parts. We then provide an overview of concerns in the current methodological discussion of QCA, identifying four core areas: 1. the conceptualization of QCA as a hybrid of quantitative and qualitative elements or as a genuinely qualitative method; 2. the relationship between the German and the international discourse on QCA; 3. the question of whether theoretical and / or epistemological foundations of QCA can be identified; and 4. the lack of transparency in documenting the application of QCA. Next, we outline the process of putting together this special issue and provide an overview of the structure and how the contributions relate to each other. In this current Part I, we focus on contributions in which authors deal with questions concerning the conceptualization of QCA, and on discussions of challenges that arise during the application of QCA and how these challenges were met. We conclude that there are multiple conceptualizations of QCA in the literature, and that this multiplicity is reflected in the variety of challenges and creative solutions described by the authors in this first part of the special issue.