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Using thematic analysis in psychology

Braun, Virginia; Clarke, Victoria

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Virginia Braun

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Dr Victoria Clarke
Associate Professor in Qualitative & Critical Psychology


Thematic analysis is a poorly demarcated, rarely acknowledged, yet widely used qualitative analytic method within psychology. In this paper, we argue that it offers an accessible and theoretically flexible approach to analysing qualitative data. We outline what thematic analysis is, locating it in relation to other qualitative analytic methods that search for themes or patterns, and in relation to different epistemological and ontological positions. We then provide clear guidelines to those wanting to start thematic analysis, or conduct it in a more deliberate and rigorous way, and consider potential pitfalls in conducting thematic analysis. Finally, we outline the disadvantages and advantages of thematic analysis. We conclude by advocating thematic analysis as a useful and flexible method for qualitative research in and beyond psychology. © 2006 Edward Arnold (Publishers) Ltd.


Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77-101.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2006
Deposit Date Nov 23, 2010
Publicly Available Date May 3, 2016
Journal Qualitative Research in Psychology
Print ISSN 1478-0887
Electronic ISSN 1478-0895
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 2
Pages 77-101
Keywords thematic analysis, qualitative psychology, patterns, epistemology, flexibility
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is an electronic version of an article published in "Braun, Virginia and Clarke, Victoria (2006) Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3 (2). pp. 77-101". Qualitative Research in Psychology is available online at:


thematic_analysis_revised_-_final.doc (362 Kb)

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