In order to understand the patterns and recurrences among the codes, Miles and Huberman (1994) suggest moving to the next level with pattern coding which allows for identification of emergent themes. The same researchers suggest that pattern coding is crucial for getting to the next level but include the point that codes that do survive the onslaught of several passes at the case and several attempts to disqualify them often turn out to be conceptual hooks on which the analyst hangs the meatiest part of the analysis. Miles and Huberman also point out that “pattern codes are hunches: some pan out but many do not” (p.72).
Memoing and reflecting and pattern coding are all steps that move from the immediate to the general. In addition to reporting data, “they tie together different pieces of data into a recognizable cluster, often to show that those data are instances of a general concept” (Miles and Huberman, 1994, p. 72). Memoing and reflecting can also go beyond coding and form a relationship to any aspect of the study – methodological, personal, and substantive. They are useful when an idea strikes!
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