Computer-assisted data analysis is usually associated with the analysis of aggregate data according to the tenets of logical positivism. But there are more than twenty computer programs designed to assist researchers analyzing ethnographic data, and these programs may be used by researchers with a variety of epistemological orientations. Some computer-assisted qualitative data analysis (CAQDA) programs automate analysis procedures that have been used by generations of ethnographers. Others open up new directions through the use of linked coding schemes, hypertext, and case-based hypothesis testing. Ethnographers interested in computer assistance must acquaint themselves with the variety of capabilities and programs available because no one program dominates the CAQDA field. In this article, we provide an overview of the theoretical and practical considerations bearing on the choice of CAQDA software.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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