Debut: write down a summary essay responded to papers, essays, books etc to document how my way of seeing the world and myself evolves through reading.

Nikki Liang
2 min readNov 23, 2020


summary essay on how to do a Thematic analysis. This article is shared by one of my classmates from the class 質的調査から見る日本文化と社会.

“Themes don’t emerge from the data”

What is B&C’s reflective thematic analysis and when to use it?

“The reflective thematic analysis is an approach to analyzing qualitative data to answer broad or narrow research questions about people’s experiences, views and perceptions, and representations about a given phenomena. ”

  • Deductive/Inductive: get into the phenomena to discover the details / transcend the details to dig out a fact.
  • Semantic/latent: on top of the ice-mountain / unseen part of the ice-mountain
  • Critical realist/constructionist: the objectivity of people’s experiences / how people perceive a situation. Related to the group project that how Japan’s primary and middle school’s curriculum shapes the students’ character. If it goes in a critical realist way it will collects the objectivity experiences of the students and it will suggest that what exact things have much more influence on their character building. (the strict time schedule, the friendship, the characterized teacher…). If it goes in a constructionist way, it will interview the students how they interact with the school environment, and it will induce how people with different personality and background performs differently under the same environment, as well as the mutual factors which the school brings influence on individuals.

“Then the data

The data suitable for this type of inquiry and research approach is qualitative. It could be diaries, interviews, surveys, data from participatory design, visual methods such as drawings and storyboards or secondary sources such as “online forums, blogs, websites, magazines, newspaper articles, and police reports”. It can also be used across datasets as pertinent for analysis across different sets of data (source). However, there’s no such thing as data saturation nor is there a strict guide about the quantity of data collected.”

“Braun and Clarke do provide rules of thumb regarding the number of interviews or research data in their guide for beginnersminimum four or five dense interviews for a paper.”

“What themes are not, in the words of B&C:

The most common problem we see is topic summaries being treated as themes–a student once memorably called these ‘bucket themes’ because they’re effectively a ‘topic dump’. There’s a topic in the data, and the theme becomes everything participants said about it. That’s not how we conceptualise themes, but we see that type of theme so much, especially in applied research. Topic summary themes cluster around experiences of X, benefits of Y, barriers to Z, and so on. That type of analysis doesn’t tell a thematic story.”

the quoted sentences and paragraphs are from the paper