Although my data analysis is not completed, I believe I have gone deep enough analyzing the interview and blog data for each of my participants. Consistent patterns have emerged enough that I am ready to begin forming a grounded theory. This is when I take all the pieces I have found and arranging them into patterns.
Because the most complex pattern in my data is about social relationships, I will use the data to create graphic organizers (undecided on which type at this time) to visualize the social relationships and how they help answer and address my research questions. I believe I have some firm grounding based in the literature I reviewed, most notably one model that address the host culture complex. I believe I can connect this model with the graphic organizers I will be creating for each of my participants. After I can visualize the social relationships in connection to my research questions and one or more models and theories for each of my participants, then I believe I can begin a cross-case analysis.
This morning I completed this last stage of data analysis for my "last" participant. I consider her the last one only because she was the last participant I interviewed. I wrote in my memos that this analysis affected me more than the other in terms of questioning my research methods. Since this just happened, I'm unsure if I should include this part of self-reflection and critical analysis elsewhere than in my memos. I believe this critical analysis was raised in at least one of my works cited in the literature review, however it is not related to my research questions directly. It raises more philosophical concerns for analyzing qualitative data, making me more aware of my own biases than previously, or at least in the recent past. I am thankful that this last exercise in data analysis has raised this awareness before I write about my findings.
I am now at the point where I need to review the key chapters and sections of my grounded theory texts to make sure I'm ready for the next phase, to better identify the next phase, and to better equip me with the mindset and vocabulary to discuss the next analytical process.