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Thematic analysis

Braun, Virginia; Clarke, Victoria


Virginia Braun

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Dr Victoria Clarke
Associate Professor in Qualitative & Critical Psychology


In the social and health sciences, TA has been extensively used for analyzing qualitative data, but until the last decade or so, there had been little discussion of TA as a method or guidance provided for its use (Aronson, 1994; Boyatzis, 1998; Patton, 1990, provide early exceptions). In 2006, Braun and Clarke (2006) proposed a “systematic” and “sophisticated” (Howitt & Cramer, 2008, p. 341) approach to TA, which has subsequently been widely adopted. Although TA is often used merely to describe or summarize key patterns in data, for Braun and Clarke, a good TA involves more than simply reporting what is in the data; it involves telling an interpretative story about the data in relation to a research question.
TA is often referred to as if it is one homogenous entity, with one set of underlying assumptions and analytic procedures (Terry, Hayfield, Clarke & Braun, 2017). But it is not. Braun and Clarke (2019) now label their approach reflexive TA and distinguish it from other approaches to TA – ones that involve the use of a structured codebook and coding reliability measures. There is considerable variation in the assumptions and procedures between broadly-different clusters of approaches to TA, which need to acknowledged in doing (good) TA. Beyond “reflexive” TA, Braun and Clarke refer to the other clusters as “coding reliability” or “codebook” TA.


Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2023). Thematic analysis. In Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. (2nd). Springer

Acceptance Date May 21, 2022
Online Publication Date Feb 19, 2023
Publication Date Feb 10, 2023
Deposit Date Feb 21, 2023
Publicly Available Date Feb 11, 2025
Publisher Springer
Edition 2nd
Book Title Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research
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This file is under embargo until Feb 11, 2025 due to copyright reasons.

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