Re-analysis as a Comparison of Constructions

Jochen Gläser, Grit Laudel


An interesting methodological aspect of secondary analysis is that it enables comparisons between constructions that constitute qualitative data analysis. This comparison is even more focused if a reanalysis is conducted, that means an analysis that reexamines both the primary study's data and the primary study's research question. In this article, a reanalysis is described that used interviews from the archive at the Special Collaborative Centre 186 (Sfb 186). One of the primary study's results was formulated as a hypothesis and subsequently "tested" by conducting a qualitative content analysis of the interviews. A comparison of primary study and reanalysis reveals critical decisions which may lead the data analyses to different results. These decisions are usually made implicitly and will show up only if contradictions between results are explained. As a second result of the comparison, typical threats to primary and secondary analyses are discussed. Primary studies seem to suffer from a "closure pressure", that it is a necessity to make sense of the data at all costs. This may stimulate researchers to close gaps in their data by speculation and to neglect contradicting evidence. Secondary analyses are thematically and methodically restricted by the primary study's data collection. Finally, the reanalysis confirmed that it is possible to use interviews from archives: The losses of information due to archiving and anonymisation seemed to have no significant influence on the reanalysis. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0003257


re-analysis; secondary analysis; qualitative interview; archiving; qualitative content analysis

Copyright (c) 2000 Jochen Gläser, Grit Laudel

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