Analysis Of One Womans Reflections English Language Essay

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A qualitative analysis of one woman's reflections and describing the state of feeling on leaving home. A definition of the qualitative analysis process, and one that seems to fit well with the jigsaw puzzle equivalence, comes from Jorgensen (1989). 'Analysis is a breaking up, separating, or disassembling of research materials into

pieces, parts, elements, or units. With facts broken down into manageable pieces' the researcher sorts and sifts them, searching for types, classes, sequences, processes, patterns or wholes. The aim of this process is to assemble or reconstruct the data in a meaningful or comprehensible fashion (Jorgensen, 1989: 107).

A similar idea is expressed by Charmaz (1983). For Charmaz, who works in the "grounded theory" tradition, the disassembling and reassembling occurs through the "coding" process.

Codes serve to summarize, synthesize, and sort many observations made of the

data....coding becomes the fundamental means of developing the

analysis....Researchers use codes to pull together and categorize a series of

otherwise discrete events, statements, and observations which they identify in the

data (Charmaz, 1983: 112).

At first the data may appear to be a mass of confusing, unrelated, accounts. But by

studying and coding (often I code the same materials several times just after

collecting them), the researcher begins to create order (Charmaz, 1983: 114).

A concrete

Qualitative Data Analysis is the range of processes and procedures whereby we move from the qualitative data that have been collected into some form of explanation, understanding or interpretation of the people and situations we are investigating. QDA is usually based on an interpretative philosophy. The idea is to examine the meaningful and symbolic content of qualitative data. For example, by analysing interview data the researcher may be attempting to identify any or all of:

Someone's interpretation of the world,

Why they have that point of view,

How they came to that view,

What they have been doing,

How they conveyed their view of their situation,

How they identify or classify themselves and others in what they say,

The process of qualitative analysis usually involves two things, writing and the identification of themes. Writing of some kind is found in almost all forms of qualitative analysis . In contrast, some approaches, such as discourse analysis or conversation analysis may not require the identification of themes (see the discussion later on this page). Nevertheless finding themes is part of the overwhelming majority of qualitative analysis carried out today. Writing involves writing about the data and what you find there. In many cases what you write may be analytic ideas. In other cases it may be some form of précis or summary of the data, though this usually contains some analytic ideas.

Looking for themes involves coding. This is the identification of passages of text (or other meaningful phenomena, such as parts of images) and applying labels to them that indicate they are examples of some thematic idea. At its simplest, this labelling or coding process enables researchers quickly to retrieve and collect together all the text and other data that they have associated with some thematic idea so that they can be examined together and different cases can be compared in that respect.

(study note) Qualitative data analysis nature of analysis depends on research aims, it Could be looking for patterns in meaning, social processes, subjective experience, language use, visual representations, cultural understanding etc .

Types of analysis differ in the extent to which they focus on description versus interpretation, Some forms of analysis make particular assumptions about the nature of reality & what data can tell us.

Qualitative thematic analysis

Analysis based on the identification of themes (q.v.) in qualitative material, often identified by means of a coding scheme. A widely used approach in qualitative analysis, generally treating accounts as a resource for finding out about the reality or experiences to which they refer.

Thematic Analysis is an approach to dealing with data that involves the creation and application of 'codes' to data. The 'data' being analysed might take any number of forms - an interview transcript, field notes, policy documents. there is a clear link between this type of analysis and Grounded Theory, as the latter clearly lays out a framework for carrying out this type of code-related analysis. Similarly,. 'Coding' refers to the creation of categories in relation to data; the grouping together of different instances of datum under an umbrella term that can enable them to be regarded as 'of the same type'.

the analysis - example 1

I aim to explore Amy's talk about living at home and leaving home. The analysis I offer aims to provide an insight into a young person's view of living at home and the factors which fed into their decision to leave home. It is anticipated that the analysis may inform consideration of the needs and requirements of young adults making the transition from family life to independent living. The analysis revealed three themes, 'Self', 'Transitions' and 'Conflict'. However, due to the word restrictions on this assignment I will cover only one of the themes, 'Conflict', in detail. This theme illustrates one of the key factors which may contribute to young adults leaving home (Jones, 2000). I will explore how Amy describes this as being related to inequality and differential power relationships within her family drawing on Farrington and Keith's (1993) theory of social conflict in the family.

Key words to use when presenting your analysis

Describing what the interviewee says




indicates ….

describes how…

outlines why….

All these phrases tell the reader that what you are telling them is your understanding of what the interviewee said

Key words/phrases to use when presenting your analysis

When offering your interpretation

I want to argue that …

This appears to suggest that ….

This seems to indicate that …

It might be argued that ….

In interpreting this I want to suggest that ….

All these words/phrases indicate that what you are offering is your viewpoint/interpretation of what might be being conveyed through the interviewee's words

Use of quotations

You need to provide a quote every time you:

make a claim about something Amy says

make an interpretation about what Amy says

introduce a new code to the reader

The quote is your evidence and it needs to support your claim, interpretation or code

However, you should not rely on quotes alone to convey the analysis

In the early stages of the interview Amy describes how, when living at home, she had been in conflict with her siblings. For example she says

'I think I did a lot more of the daily tasks than they did, so to say, and that irritated me quite a lot you know (smiling). But I also probably yelled a lot at them sometimes, and it only resulted in them getting annoyed with me, so to say….'

Through this quote Amy appears to suggest that this conflict arose from inequality in the allocation of practical chores. She describes how the conflict escalated as a result of her response to this inequality and her sisters'

subsequent irritation. Farrington and Keith (1993) , in their Social Conflict Theory of the family suggest that such conflict is common place in families. They argue that conflict is a basic element of human social interaction and offer support to Amy's suggestion that conflict can arise out of inequality. However, Farrington and Keith also highlight how inequality in perceived power can cause conflict. This is evident earlier in Amy's response when she is being asked about being 'the older sister'. She says,

'Yes I were (smiling) (…) the big bad wolf in a way also'

This quote appears to provide further support for……


From Amy's talk about living at home and leaving home.







From Amy's talk about living at home and leaving home.

Theme 2


Jorgensen, D. L. (1989). Participant observation: Methodology for human studies. Newbury,: Sage. CA

Farrington, K., & Chertok, E. (1993). Social conflict theories of the family. In P.G. Boss, W. J. Doherty, R. LaRossa, W. R. Schumm, & S. K. Steinmetz (Eds.), Sourcebook of family theories and methods: A contextual approach (pp. 357-381). Plenum. New York



FLYING THE NEST:  A Qualitative analysis of one woman's reflections on leaving home.



This piece of research aims to present the possible reasons, motives, implications and feelings of a young adult leaving home for the first time. The research document used is an excerpt taken from an interview transcript which sought to explore the young woman's reason for leaving home. The interviewee is a 25 year old female name Amy.

The kind of research method used for this particular piece of study is the qualitative approach. Semi-structured interview method is used in particular to give the researcher more in dept detail into the interviewee's own thoughts, ideas or account of a particular topic.(Smith 1995)

This method of combining the two is more flexible as it allows the interviewer and interviewee more flexibility than a structured interview. The researcher is able to follow up more in dept any interesting areas that emerge during the interview and the interviewee is able to elaborate more fully. The interviewer captures verbatim data and using qualitative analysis is able to gather a rich source of data that is very personal to the interviewee. From this data, themes will develop and qualitative analysis is used to try and capture the emerging themes.

    "Qualitative research is often seen as a way of 'empowering' or 'giving voice' to  people, rather than treating them as objects whose behaviour is to be quantified and statistically modeled." (Bauer et al, 2000 p12.)

Qualitative research is more concerned with understanding why people behave the way that they do. Analyzing the information gathered from a qualitative research is done in various ways and thematic analysis is one of the methods.

It is a process used for encoding qualitative information. The qualitative researcher will interpret the textual data by reading it several times and making a note of interesting or significant information that he or she can see in the text. They will then look at possible titles for the themes that are emerging and key words are used to capture these. A connection is sought for the emerging themes and clusters of themes can appear. It is the researchers own interpretative understanding of the interviewee responses where the themes have emerged from. Master themes can be gathered from the emerging sub-themes and the researcher will then have themes that capture the interviewee's concerns most appropriately.

Thematic analysis has its strengths and limitations. One of the great strength of it is that it can identify patters across large data sets. It also enables identification of both expected and unexpected issues. Some of the limitations to thematic analysis are that it can be hard to judge impact or importance of themes and the method tends to draw attention to commonality. (Smith 1995)

It is my intention to explore Amy's feelings about leaving home and her reflections on when she was still living at home. The analysis I will offer has the intention to show  young adult s' reasons for leaving home and  how she has experienced the transition..

When a young person makes the decision to leave home it is a huge transition for them. They want to gain independence in living in their own home but they are also leaving the family unit and this can lead to confusion. 

Holdsworth and Morgan (2005) states that " leaving the parental home represents a major life-course transition"

Holdsworth and Morgan also argue that conventionally leaving home is usually taken as an indicator that the person leaving is wishing to seek their independence.

Jones (1995) on the other hand  argues that, "as well as leaving for independent reasons, young adult also leave in order to study or take up employment."

The analysis revealed two themes, 'Confusion' and 'Responsibility' and I will look at both of these themes for this assignment.

As I conducted my analysis I want to suggest that  for my interpretation  I found that  Amy felt a sense of duty, a sense of responsibility, that she had taken on a lead role for her  siblings. These interpretative codes were based on the descriptive codes of 'big bad wolf, irritated, yelled, getting annoyed.

Amy seemed to be the one who has taken control of her younger siblings to an extent. Later in the interview she suggests that her parents did not give her any such rules to comply with. I would suggest that lack of parental rules also applied to Amys' sisters hence Amy taking charge of them when the household chores were to be done.

The nature of these interpretations resulted in my coming up with one of my over arching themes as 'Responsibility'

It appears that Amy is a very responsible young woman and this is indicated early in the interview when she is described by the interviewer as "the older sister". She replies,


'Yes I were (smiling)… I think I did a lot more of the daily tasks than they did, so to say, and that irritated me quite a lot you know (smiling).


That quote from her seems to indicate that Amy felt responsible for taking on more of the house hold chores than her siblings did. I interpreted this to suggest that she felt that she had to take a lead role and behave like a parent rather than a sister. This seems to irritate her and she clearly admits this feeling to the interviewer she also stated,


'But I also probably yelled quite a lot at them sometimes, and it resulted only in them getting annoyed at me, so to say (…)'


I would argue that Amy felt that she had to be more of a responsible child than her siblings. Her parents it would seem had more control over Amy's life than that of her two siblings. This is demonstrated in this example when she says,


'I didn't have my own mobile phone either (laughing) (…), and my parents then were able to control all the people that tried to call me in a way (…), and also those who visited me so to speak.'


Amy also suggested that her sisters have a lot of visitors and no mention is made of her parents monitoring these activities.

She also took the responsibility to call her parents when ever she was out to make them aware of her whereabouts. Amy describes this when she stated,


'And when I went out in the evenings, I did feel the obligation to tell them where I was going, so to speak (…), but I do think that you should take other people's thoughts into consideration when you are staying at home so to speak'.


Amy, I want to argue was also showing signs of confusion. In interpreting this I want to suggest that some of the key second level themes that I have drawn up are, too many people, resentful, outsiders, enjoyment, lack of fun, wanting fun but is afraid.

At the early stages of the interview she was asked about her thoughts during the middle of the leaving process and what was positive about her being at home. Amy describes how the main positives were   companionship and having someone around all the time. However when the interviewer brings her siblings into the discussion by asking how she related to them, Amy states,


'I eventually found this to be a little problematic you know, there became, in a way, too many people to relate to at home, if you know what I mean then (…)'


This appears to suggest that Amy does not seem sure over whether she enjoyed companionship or not. Further indication of this show that during the interview she mentions on a few occasions, the number of people who frequented the house. Her sisters' boyfriend and friends who visited for example. Amy then reports that though there were too many people there at her parents' house she did think that that period in some sense used to be quite ok. 

Also further indication of her confusion arises when further into the interview the interviewer again asks her about appreciating the company.

Amy states,


'Yes, and I think that related itself mostly to me spending time together with my mother and father you know(…) I really enjoyed walking downstairs to chat with them sometimes, you know (…) when it suited me so to say.'


What a Pain and Confusion! A qualitative analysis of one woman's reflections on leaving home

My write up aims at presenting how Amy, a 25 years old woman felt on leaving home to live on her own - the pain of missing company of parents and the confusion that engulfs her in taking the decision. It is a qualitative approach in psychology where study will centre in collecting data that describes the feelings and thoughts of participants on particular experiences; the opposite of quantified approach where numbers and measuring are involved Pennington (2002). I shall employ the thematic method of analysis which will enable me to draw themes from the data I am analysing using the coding system. Amy was interviewed using the semi-structured method of collecting data. Dawson in Carey (2009) describes thematic analysis as being inductive - meaning it impresses on the researcher to draw meaning from the data other than from outside.

According to Aronson in Carey (2009) thematic analysis process can be done in six stages: collect data and transcribe it, identify themes from the codes or patterns for example opinions and beliefs, piecing together of themes - sometimes this is necessary, see my diagram where I have pieced together (from bottom level) number 1, 6 and 7 for an overarching theme "Companionship or Missing", building a valid position after having identified a theme using quotations from the transcript and finally applying findings to practice or theory. I really enjoyed when I practised with the assistance of lecturers. I remember trying to rush through the levels and concluding from outside and not relying to information from the transcript - see crossed diagram on page 11 second level. Words like "Reflects" and "Anxiety" had no connections to any data in the transcript. So I had to redo it. Please see attachment at the back of page 12.

Positively, thematic analysis is a quick and easy method to learn and carry out. It can be used with researchers with little or no experience to qualitative research. The results can be used and understood by the general educated public. It is also useful in participatory research with participants as collaborators. The method can summarise key features of a large body of data as it can also highlight similarities and differences across the transcript. Unexpected leads or insights can be uncovered through this method making it easy to pursue them if it is the intention. One can derive social and psychological interpretations and policy development is also enhanced Braun and Clarke (2006).

On disadvantages, Braun and Clarke (2006) associate most of them to poorly conducted processes or inappropriate research questions than on the method itself. Whilst there are a wide range of options from the method as an advantage, this can also be a disadvantage in that it makes developing specific guidelines for higher phase analysis difficult and calls for researcher to take longer time to decide on which aspects to focus on. The approach does not allow for claims to be made on language use or fine grained functionality of talk. There is also this one which is debatable; some argue that the method is too simple anyone can conduct it as compared to other methods like Discourse and the Grounded theory.

I will examine Amy's points of view of living at home and leaving home. My explorations aim at providing some understanding to young people's views of living at home and look at feelings and confusion which they might encounter on leaving home. I foresee my analysis offering future settings on how both parents and young adults should prepare for this eventuality. It is my own opinion that there is a gap parents are not closing when parenting children. I suggest children should be informed of the eventual end of contract between the parents and the child when the child finally moves from home to settle on their own. There seem to be growing very strong bonds between parents and child that almost shake the child to nothing when they finally decide to leave home. My analysis shall also suggest that clear co-existence rules and guidelines should be made between parents and children at home - there are instances in the transcript where Amy appeared not very clear with this as we shall see later in my discussion. My analysis revealed three themes, Companionship or Missing, Conflict and Privacy or Independence. I am sure, I will try and contribute to all three- they all carry some bearings to a situation where young adults are leaving home to live on their own. But in the final analysis I will only link two themes to practical or theory in life.

Before discussing the actual three themes I came out with, I want to straightaway cover the instances where I felt Amy was in doubt in as far as how children should co-exist with their parents.

"You know the oldest one had a boyfriend, who also used to stay at my parents' home quite a lot. Summing this up then, with my second sibling who also used to have a lot of visitors you know ... on pp5-6"

These statements show in my interpretation, that there were no ground rules for example in my culture there is a ground rule that boyfriends do not stay at my parents' home and visitors should be organised and should not patronise.

"And when I went out in the evenings, I did feel the obligation to tell them where I was going, so to speak and when I expected to return etc you know... on pp6"

This statement is not resolute. It does not tell me that there was a hard and fast rule she was supposed to inform or not. The correct and general rule should be that children inform parents where they are going and when they expect to come back. This is done mostly for safety and security reasons.

Companionship or Missing Theme

"The main positive thing was probably the know, having someone around at all times that is...hmm... on p1 top"

With this statement, my own interpretation concludes or suggests how painful it was for Amy to contemplate missing the parents. As such one is inclined to suggest that children should always be reminded that eventually they shall lead their own lives.

"Yes, I think that related itself mostly to me spending time with my mother and father you know... on p6"

Again this confirms the pain she was feeling and perhaps equally confused if I am allowed to suggest, to leave home and start her own life.

"Is this something you miss now today then? Yes that is absolutely the case, yes... (....) on p6"

She even feels the pain and misses home after leaving - shall I suggest she was too dependent to the parents all along to now leave on her own.

Conflict theme

"Yes... that eventually found to be a little problematic you know, there became, in a way too many people to relate at home, if you know what I mean then... on pp5"

Although siblings are very close relation, sometimes familiarity breeds contempt so much in the end respect can be lost among people. This could have been quite a big push for her to leave home of course against having to fight the zeal for companionship as alluded above.

"The last paragraph on page 5 and first paragraph on page 6"

There is a collection of words and phrases that point to conflict; big bad wolf, tasks, irritations, yelling, boyfriend of first sibling and a lot of friends for the second sibling in those two sections. Although some can see a picture elsewhere that Amy had grown to want to live at home, I view these events inevitably leading to conflict, she had no option but to leave home.

Privacy and Independence theme

Getting it from the data, one is possibly led to think Amy was really fighting for her privacy or independence. I had to settle for this theme because it was coming from the data according to the coding I did, but given more scope than that being allowed by this assignment a lot of other themes could be drawn from Amy's story because in the second paragraph on page 7 she talks of being "a devoting person", "in different settings" and "conscientious". She says all this against her assertion in the third paragraph on page 7 where she sort of paints a picture that all her compliance was done reluctantly- typical confusion. Anyway back to my justification of privacy and Independence.

"Yes... you don't enjoy the same privacy you know, when you are living at home.... on p6 last paragraph"

That whole paragraph to the end of the page is full of pointers that Amy was perhaps due for independence or privacy to live alone as she points out on page 7 last paragraph.

"You sometimes need to really "live" out your life on your own..."

This last section will concentrate on linking the two themes of Privacy and Companionship to theory. Companionship is linked to the Attachment theory which was propounded by John Bowlby. He described attachment as a lasting connectedness between human beings Bowlby (1969) in Cherry (n. d.) Derived from this description one can further define attachment as special emotional relationship which brings in the exchange of comfort, care and pleasure. Bowlby (1988) in Cherry (n. d.) went on to say the propensity or power to make strong bonds to particular individuals is a basic component of human nature.

From the above diagram, also taken from Cherry (n. d.) article, one can argue that all the information in the four windows drawing from attachment can be seen affecting Amy in the transcript. It can be concluded that Amy suffered distress by leaving home, she almost considered home as a safe haven as she also took it as her secure base. By proximity maintenance, it may be understood Amy had almost been spoiled and would find it very difficult to lead her own life without always leaning to the parents. So from such linking lessons can be learnt in as far as helping young adults on leaving home.

The other theme, independence or privacy is being linked to the humanism theory by Carl Rogers. Amy would now want to lead her own life as evidenced by the patterns which I used to justify the theme. So how do I justify my likening of Amy's moves to humanism? Here I put how humanism has been taken by Barker (2003). Humanists share the progressive movement that people are free to choose their own destiny and they are working hard to achieve their potential for psychological growth within the boundaries of any individual limitations. At this point, I think one can bring the point home that now after all the interference at home - conflicts with sisters, experiencing too many visitors at home, failure to enjoy privacy and the assumed tight controls from parents, Amy has finally decided to leave home and leave her own life where she will be the overall in-charge of her own life or destiny as Barker puts it.

I only hope that my suggestions and interpretations in the discussion if by any chance they happen to be considered for the articulation of the young adult leaving home subject, they will be found to hold water especially where I was arguing about the idea that young people should be advised in advance that in final analysis they should bear the brunt of leading their lives. In counselling therapists have been warned not to forget telling clients that contracts will eventually end otherwise big problems are created for clients who have not been advised of how contracts shall end because they have become too dependent on their therapists.