Data Analysis in Biographical-Narrative Approaches: From Methods to an Analytic Intentionality

Marcela Cornejo Cancino, Ximena Faúndez, Carolina Besoain


Data analysis is crucial in qualitative research, influencing the quality and applicability of the results. Texts on data analysis typically describe general principles to be followed but lack detailed illustrations of the procedures involved. Qualitative researchers favor the dissemination of research results, providing an outline of how the analysis was done, and summarizing the epistemological foundations that sustained it.

In this article, three investigations are briefly presented, each of which utilized analytical procedures from biographical-narrative approaches: collective memory of the Chilean dictatorship, transgenerational transmission of trauma in grandchildren of victims of political imprisonment and torture during dictatorship, and processes of transformation over time of the subjectivities of the residents of poor neighborhoods in Santiago. Detailed descriptions are presented of how data analysis was designed, executed, and reproduced during the investigations, problematizing from an epistemological and a methodological point of view the decisions made at each step.

Analytical intentionality is proposed as a way to deal with analysis considering three dimensions: the reflexivity of the researcher and research team, a polyphonic listening in the BAKHTINian sense that opens new and multiple options for analysis, and a systematic writing exercise as a way of building and disseminating knowledge. These dimensions can help to make sense of the work of data analysis in qualitative research.



data analysis; biographical-narrative approaches; listening devices; analytic intentionality


Copyright (c) 2017 Marcela Cornejo, Ximena Faúndez, Carolina Besoain

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