In relation to varying ontological and epistemological positions in psychology, thematic analysis has been used for a long time in data analysis that seek to establish patterns or themes in any sets of data (Boyatzis, 1998, p. 23). This type of analysis establishes recurrent patterns and probably codes them for easier referencing. In analyzing the data in this research, clusters of linked responses were created in regard to similarities detected from what they conveyed.
It was worth using this method of data analysis since I had no prior expertise knowledge in the field, a problem comfortably avoided by coding and comparing to come up with results that can pretty be interpreted. Comparison on statements given by respondents was used to detect the most elaborate trends in the data. This led to a proper analysis of issues surrounding self-perception by ex-offenders. It also gave a clear finding of how this could be affecting their chances of securing lucrative jobs.
Color-coding was subsequently used to identify different themes thus facilitating analysis. ‘Color coding lead to creation of categories where as relational coding related the categories to each other thus ensuring patterns or themes in the data were identified and interpreted’ (Ezzy, 2002, p. 26). Thematic analysis in not statistically generalisable and therefore thorough analysis was possible, leading to better interpretation of results.
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