What is a category?


Adapted from Paillé and Muchielli , 2011.


A category is a textual production, under the form of a brief expression and allowing to name a phenomenon through a conceptual reading of the corpus. A category responds to “Given my problematic, what is this phenomenon?”, “how can I name this phenomenon conceptually?”

A category belongs to a set of categories, and makes sense in regarding the other categories. It is a matter of relationships between categories. A category is for the analyst an attempt to comprehend, while for the reader it is an access to the meaning. It encompasses the evocation of what is said but is also conceptually rich. It induces a precise mental image of a dynamic or a sequence of events.