The Journal Project: Qualitative Computing and the Technology/Aesthetics Divide in Qualitative Research

Judith Davidson


Twenty-first century qualitative research is at a crossroads as it faces the double challenges of new technologies for conducting research and the powerful strand of interest in arts-based research (including memoir and autoethnography). The journal project, a study of eighteen months of my personal journals, aims to demonstrate how this tension can be addressed within qualitative research. In this article, I describe how I combined the use of qualitative data analysis software with humanistic approaches to qualitative research, namely arts-based research and memoir or autoethnography. I identify five stages of visual activity (creating data, organizing data, primary responses, secondary responses, and curation) and describe how the visual components intersected with and supported the work in the qualitative computing software (QSR's NVivo). In today's world, qualitative researchers (like everyone else) are immersed in the opportunities of digitalness and its visual possibilities, and it is critically important that we learn to leverage the potential of these tools for our work.



qualitative data analysis software; arts-based research; autoethnography; memoir

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Copyright (c) 2012 Judith Davidson

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