Searching for the Core: Defining Qualitative Content Analysis

Christoph Stamann, Markus Janssen, Margrit Schreier


A variety of applications of qualitative content analysis can be found in the scientific literature. In this contribution we argue that this variety is the result of the sheer number of variations of qualitative content analysis and by the numerous modifications of the method in the research process. This situation results in a number of both methodological and practical questions. In this article, we first present and discuss aspects of qualitative content analysis which are in need of clarification and of methodological development, such as the process of constructing categories. Following this, we present issues arising from the numerous practices of and terms for qualitative content analysis and discuss several starting points for systematizing this variety. In the final section we summarize our conclusions and present suggestions for informing and guiding the application of these methods during the research process.



qualitative text analysis; qualitative content analysis; developing categories; coding; systematization; category system


Copyright (c) 2016 Markus Janssen, Christoph Stamann, Margrit Schreier

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