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Hey there!

Phd here trying to work out how to get the type of output from NVIVO12 that I need for my analysis.

I am running a discourse analysis in which I code something called 'moments', 'elements,' 'signifiers' and ‘relationships’ in relation to cases (persons interviews). I will explain what they are, what I am aiming to do with them, what I have tried, and where I am stuck. 


The bits and bobs

-          A moment is a paragraph marked in an interview and then coded to a single node. let's call it Person1.Moment1 (p1.m1)

-          An element is a part of that paragraph also coded as a node, lets call it Element1 (E1). 

-          A signifier is a node created without being linked straight to a datasource. Instead, I link elements to signifiers according to theoretical directions. Elements such as 'climate change' and 'responsibility' may be linked to a signifier called 'urban development'.

-          A relationship is a particular role that an element plays vis-à-vis a signifier, providing the signifier with a particular meaning.

In the theory I am using, elements can play many different roles in different social constructions, thus causing issues of communication between people talking about important social challenges, for instance the challenge of sustainability transitions for urban planners.


What I aim to do:

I am trying to show how an element such as ‘politicians’ can play the role of an obstacle to one signifier such as ‘urban development’ in one interview, but in another interview the element ‘politicians’ may play the role of a strategic resource to a signifier such as ‘economic survival. I need to show this duality with a set of over 30 interviews that sometimes hold over 150 such codes each.

I am looking for a practical way to code this in a way that can show me all the different roles elements play vis-à-vis different signifiers and cases (interview respondents)


What I have tried:
At first, I coded my elements as children of the Moments. This obviously didn't work as I needed to be able to access a single element to see all the different connections it played in different contexts and conversations. I discovered that a node could not be a child to several nodes, without being a copy, and this would prevent the data output from referencing an element as just one element playing different parts.

Now I have tried creating relationships instead between the elements and the signifiers. This worked great, at first. I can have a signifier with about thirty elements attached, all playing different roles that I can created as relationship types. Perfect! I am able to pull up project maps and see all the connections between my elements and signifiers just as I wanted (though lets be honest, those maps become hella difficult to read once you exceed a couple hundred nodes and relationships).

The problem I have now is that I need to find some comfortable way of taking out the data which the project map shows me. Is there some way of tweaking the queries to be able to get a datasheet output of my relationships? For instance: I can map out my interview respondents according to how many times they have referenced a particular element, but I can’t seem to find a way to map out my signifiers and elements according to their relationship correspondences.




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  • 9 months later...

I just signed up just to highlight how significant this issue is. Despite its extremely negative implications for the scholars' work, the lack of "node relationships" on the MacOS version of NVivo has still not been addressed. And indeed, it has been constantly ignored by the NVivo's team up until now --as is the case with Rachel's very elaborate post about this.

This makes me re-think of NVivo's integrity, to be honest.

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I have just payed for  Nvivo license and the biggest reason was to make a literature review utilising the "relationships" function. And now I'm discovering that it is just not available for Mac users??? wtf

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