How to do Qualitative Structural Analysis: The Qualitative Interpretation of Network Maps and Narrative Interviews

Andreas Herz, Luisa Peters, Inga Truschkat


To analyze how actors are embedded in social structures, network research is increasingly using qualitative methods, sometimes in combination with standardized approaches. So far, the development of a method for qualitative structural analysis remains a desideratum. Using the example of the analysis of an ego-centric network map and a narrative interview, we conceptualize, explicate and substantiate a qualitative analysis procedure which does justice to the standards of structural analysis as theoretical and methodological stances taken by social network analysis. Based on this example, we design qualitative procedures (sequential analysis, sensitizing concepts, memos) to analyze network maps and narrative data. To do so, we adapt concepts from formal network analysis. Our proposal for this qualitative structural analysis (QSA) is thus a combination of the analytical perspective of structural analysis and analytical standards taken from qualitative social research.



qualitative structural analysis; structural interpretation; ego-centric network maps; narrative interview; social network analysis; qualitative network research


Copyright (c) 2014 Andreas Herz, Luisa Peters, Inga Truschkat

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