Secondary Analysis of Interviews: Using Codes and Theoretical Concepts From the Primary Study

Irena Medjedovic, Andreas Witzel


Despite the possibilities of using secondary analysis in social science there are reservations about methodological and ethic issues. Furthermore, the method is under-utilised in Germany due to the lack of readiness and access to the primary data. In our opinion, the lack of methodological experiences dominates scepticism. Using an interview from a panel-study about young adults entering the job market, we show in our contribution the opportunities, constraints and circumstances involved in secondary analysis. When carrying out secondary analysis, usually the demand for data is restricted to original data from the primary study. However, based on our experience, codes and category schemes used in the computer-assisted qualitative data analysis (CAQDAS) of the primary study are also adequate for performing secondary analysis. Under certain conditions inductive analysis is possible even when relying on theoretical concepts like typologies used in the primary study. If such schemes have the heuristic function of an "oversized card-index box" with broad and not apriori theoretically deduced categories, their applicability for secondary analysis should not contradict open-ended coding in the process of creating in-vivo-codes. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0501462


CAQDAS; interview; secondary analysis; panel-study; theoretical concept; typology; codes; category scheme

Copyright (c) 2005 Irena Medjedovic, Andreas Witzel

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