Analyzing talk in qualitative inquiry: Exploring possibilities, problems, and tensions

Brett Smith, Andrew C Sparkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


This paper seeks to extend the analytical scope of qualitative inquiry and our understanding on the analysis of stories we elicit and collect in the domains of sport and physical activity. Painting with broad strokes, we consider fi ve ways in which narratives can be analyzed to incorporate the hows and the whats of their telling. These are an analysis of conversation, an analysis of discourse, an analysis of how narratives are performed, an analysis of content, and an analysis of structure. In all sections, various strengths and weaknesses of each approach are identifi ed and exemplars are provided. The paper closes by suggesting that researchers might consider using a variety of analyses in order to assist them to understand the complexities of the social world in different ways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-242
Number of pages30
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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