More Than Just Coding? Evaluating CAQDAS in a Discourse Analysis of News Texts

Katie MacMillan


Computer assisted qualitative data ana­lysis software (CAQDAS) is frequently described as a tool that can be used for "qualitative research" in general, with qualitative analysis treated as a "catch-all" homogeneous category. Few studies have detailed its use within specific methods, and even fewer have appraised its value for discourse analysis (DA). While some briefly comment that CAQDAS has technical limitations for discourse analysis, in general, the topic as a whole is given scant attention. Our aim is to investigate whether this limited interest in CAQDAS as a qualitative tool amongst discourse analysts, and in DA as a research method amongst CAQDAS users, is prac­tically based; due to an uncertainty about research methods, including DA; or because of method­ol­ogical incompatibilities. In order to address these questions, this study is based not only on a review of the literature on CAQDAS and on DA, but also on our own experience as discourse analysts put­ting some of the main CAQDAS to the test in a media analysis of news texts.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0503257


computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software; CAQDAS; discourse analysis; qualitative research methods; media analysis

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Copyright (c) 2005 Katie MacMillan

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