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Flexible coding describes coding approaches that allow categories to emerge from data. It is characterized by a dynamic and nonlinear process in which researchers incorporate and develop new categories, ideas, and concepts from their interactions with the texts. Flexible coding is both exploratory, aiming to identify emerging themes and commonalities, and generic, generating insights and building theories from contextualized raw materials. Theories, instead of playing the role of deducing coding categories as in fixed coding, are inductively formulated and refined through the coding processes. In other words, whereas the goal of fixed coding is to confirm a theory, flexible coding is to build a theory. Flexible coding is mostly used in research broadly situated in an interpretive-hermeneutic approach. Researchers doing thematic analysis or open coding ...

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