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Chapter Five 1999 Post-Elections Period - Leicester Research ...

Chapter Five 1999 Post-Elections Period - Leicester Research ...

77 At the Axial Coding

77 At the Axial Coding stage, which involves categorisation and relating categories to subcategories, the main themes of the coded paragraphs were categorised. In terms of priming the software, the researcher‟s main task was to add to the parent nodes of the tree. First, there was only one parent node, which did not have a label, to which the four child nodes were attached. As the process of Axial Coding progressed, the parent nodes increased as more theme groups were indentified and coded paragraphs were moved under the emerging theme groups. As an example, Appendix II shows the tree of nodes with emerged after the Axial Coding process of the editorials in the 1994 case study. 3.4 Pilot Study After the research procedure was designed following the preparation of data, a pilot study was carried out on stratified random sample consisting of 33.3% of the newspapers‟ articles and parliamentary speeches from the three case studies. The aim of this pilot was to establish the weak points of the analysis protocol for strengthening. Further, the pilot aimed to test the coding protocol through an inter-coder reliability test. 3.4.1 Reliability This study is a qualitative study of text from newspapers and parliamentary records. On this very basis, the study is open to criticism concerning issues of reliability and validity. According to Silverman (2008, p.282) in quantitative research reliability as to do with the extent a study procedure can be exactly replicated. However, due to the fact that qualitative research examines social phenomena whose context cannot be replicated because social reality is always in flux, it has always proved problematic for qualitative researchers to deal with issues of reliability in the same way that researchers who use quantitative methods do. This study has also struggled with these issues.

78 However, even though the above may be the case, this study has in-built reliability mechanisms that conform to rigorous standards of qualitative scientific research. According to Moisander and Valtonen (2006, p.23-27) one way qualitative researchers can ensure reliability is by making the research process „transparent‟. This is achieved by clearly describing the data collection and data analysis process. Transparency is also achieved by clearly detailing the theoretical basis of the interpretation. This study has clearly adhered to this standard as the preceding paragraphs have clearly laid out the frame theory (problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation) basis of the analysis and the stages followed in the collection and analysis of the data. The fact that data of this study are based on archived textual newspapers and parliamentary records adds to the reliability of the study. According to Silverman (2008, p.285) as long as textual data are not forged, they are more reliable than any other forms of data such as data gathered through observation. The newspaper issues and parliamentary records used in this study are available for any interested researchers at the relevant libraries in Malawi. These are the Lilongwe Branch National Library Service, University Library at Chancellor College in Zomba, the National Archives Library in Zomba, the National Assembly Library in Lilongwe, and the libraries of the Nation Publications Ltd, and the Blantyre Newspapers Ltd both in Blantyre. Further, the analysis of the data has been amply demonstrated by the provided example and screen graphic from the computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software. 3.4.2 Open Coding Intercoder Reliability As noted earlier, a pilot study was undertaken to test the analysis procedure. The sample of this pilot test was collected from 33.33% of each of the six data sets described above.

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