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Thematic Analysis

Thematic Analysis
A Practical Guide

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December 2021 | 376 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Developed and adapted by the authors of this book, thematic analysis (TA) is one of the most popular qualitative data analytic techniques in psychology and the social and health sciences.

Building on the success of Braun & Clarke’s 2006 paper first outlining their approach – which has over 100,000 citations on GoogleScholar – this book is the definitive guide to TA, covering:

-          Contextualisation of TA

-          Developing themes

-          Writing TA reports

-          Reflexive TA

It addresses the common questions surrounding TA as well as developments in the field, offering a highly accessible and practical discussion of doing TA situated within a clear understanding of the wider terrain of qualitative research.

Virginia Braun is a Professor in the School of Psychology at The University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand.

Victoria Clarke is an Associate Professor in Qualitative and Critical Psychology in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol.

Section One: Venturing forth! Doing reflexive thematic analysis
Chapter One: It’s almost time to depart: Getting ready for your thematic analysis adventure
Before analysis: A brief design interlude

Chapter Two: Taking an initial lay of the land: Introducing our worked example dataset and doing familiarisation
Chapter Three: Exploring this world in detail: Doing coding
Chapter Four: Finding, losing, then finding your way again: Developing your themes
Chapter Five: Arriving home and telling a story about your adventure: Writing your thematic analysis report
Section Two: Going deeper for tip-top reflexive thematic analysis: Theory, interpretation, and quality matters
Chapter Six: A not-so-scary theory chapter: Conceptually locating reflexive thematic analysis
Chapter Seven: So what? The importance of interpretation in reflexive thematic analysis
Chapter Eight: One big happy family? Understanding similarities and differences between reflexive TA and its methodological siblings and cousins
Chapter Nine: Getting your own house in order: Understanding what makes good reflexive thematic analysis to ensure quality


Watch the Webinar
Virginia Braun and Victoria Clarke answer questions about their work on Thematic Analysis and celebrate the publication of their book.

Braun and Clarke are extremely engaging, interesting, accessible writers, and would you believe, fun to read. I can't recommend Thematic Analysis: a Practical Guide enough!

Richard Devine
Social Worker for Bath and North East Somerset Council

I feel like you’ve passed me a head torch and a shovel when I was previously just in the bottom of a mine not sure how to get out!

Amy Partington
MSc Psychology Student, Arden University

Braun and Clarke write in an invitational style, welcoming and accommodating a wide readership including those who are neurodivergent (...) I believe their highly accessible style of writing and their ability to unpack complex ideas and communicate them clearly and succinctly has played a large role in building their notable profiles within qualitative research circles.

Thematic Analysis: A Practical Guide is set to become a classic within qualitative research and is an essential addition to the evaluator’s toolkit.

Melissa Forbes
Academic Quality Unit, University of Southern Queensland
Evaluation Journal of Australasia

Whether you are just departing, circling back, or well into your thematic analysis journey, you will find this textbook a rich resource. [...] With the use of numerous examples, you see reflexive thematic analysis come to life, bringing the practical application of the method to the forefront. This book provides the scaffolding to guide and support you on your journey, while also provoking further questions and reflection on reflexive thematic analysis. 

Lisa Trainor
3rd year PhD Student, The University of British Columbia

This book is a must-have for anyone thinking about or undertaking thematic analysis of data, more specifically, reflexive thematic analysis! A thoroughly useful and accessible practical guide. It contains clear definitions of terminology and explanations and makes good use of helpful boxes in each chapter to explain concepts or alert you to mistakes easily made in the process of analysing data using this method. 

Book User
Part time PhD student & Speech and Language Therapist

First up, it’s a book that should be read by any qualitative researcher, not just those into thematic analysis. This is because it covers the foundations so well. Secondly, it's an enjoyable read where, at times, you almost don’t realise you are taking things in because you are having fun. Finally, reading this book is (at the risk of extending their metaphor) like listening to two very experienced travellers when you are about to embark on your own. They don’t tell you where to go or precisely how to do it, but they fill you with confidence about your own ability to undertake what can seem like a daunting journey. 

Eileen Joy
Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work, University of Auckland

We have about 60 students per year undertaking the Dissertation module and this text is high priority reading to help them plan out their research proposal in relation to data analysis. We also recommend the text to our researchers and higher research students. The text brings thematic analysis up to date and step by step explains the analytical process with extensive explanations and exemplars. An excellent and essential text, very well written with students and researchers in mind.

Dr Jas Sangha
Race Equality Lead and Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Anglia Ruskin University, London

An excellent practical tool book for all levels of qualitative researchers

Ms Rachel Howe
School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems , University College Dublin
July 7, 2022

Clear process outline.

Dr Jessica Runacres
Health & Social Care (Stafford), Staffordshire University
May 30, 2022

Continuing in the vein of previous work by Braun and Clarke in this area, this book is an excellent resource for research students of all levels and, particularly for those beginning the research journey. In addition, it is also a most welcome resource for those of us involved in teaching and supervising students engaged in using Thematic Analysis.

With a very practical focus, the book is pitched at a most accessible level and guides the researcher carefully and in detail through the research process from initial design to the final research report.

Section II considers broader issues around Thematic Analysis and its relationship with other approaches. This will be particularly valuable for more advanced research students or those who want to explore the area in more detail.

As not all of the research students on our programme will undertake Thematic Analysis in their projects, it is not feasible to suggest it as a mandatory textbook. However, for anyone undertaking Thematic Analysis, I will strongly recommend it as the go-to textbook. In addition, I will recommend that our Library order a number of copies.

Mr Gerry Gallagher
Centre of Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)., Dundalk Institute of Technology
January 31, 2022

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