7.2.3 Standard Category Schemes

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Pre-existing, standard category schemes come from two alternative sources:

. they’re the result of a previous bootstrapping exercise by yourself or

someone else; or

. they’re drawn up following a category system based on pre-existing

research, theory, or assumptions which are felt to be relevant to the topic.

In either case, step 1 of the content-analysis procedure outlined in Section 7.2.1

has already been carried out for you. The categories already exist, and you use

the scheme in your analysis from step 2 onwards. That is, you code, tabulate,

and carry out a differential analysis as required. The reliability check of step 4

is probably unnecessary if the pre-existing categories are already known, from

previous research, to provide a reliable way of summarising the topic in

question, but you still need to be conscientious about the consistency with

which you assign the constructs to the categories, and you might want to do

the ‘second run-through’, as I indicated in step (4.6) above.