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


  • Judith Davidson University of Massachusetts-Lowell



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


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.



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Author Biography

Judith Davidson, University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Judith DAVIDSON has been teaching qualitative research at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell since 1999. She has strong interests in qualitative computing and arts-based research. She continues to combine these two interests beyond the journal project in her current project examining teens' views of sexting.




How to Cite

Davidson, J. (2012). The Journal Project: Qualitative Computing and the Technology/Aesthetics Divide in Qualitative Research. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 13(2).



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