The qualitative data analysis was conducted by cutting and pasting all the responses to the open questions into columns, one for each of the two nationalities Icelandic and UK.
I then subjected each set of responses to the process of “close reading” whereby I went through each answer with care picking out themes with a highlighter. For example on the questions which asked “what do you think life is like for older adults in your community?” I found that quotes were firstly either positive, negative or a mixture of both.
I picked out specific quotes that seemed to fit the themes of positive and negative. I also subdivided the positive and negative categories. For example, some of the negative themes related to loneliness and people looking down on you, e.g. “lonely because your spouse has died” or “people looking down on you because they think you don’t understand modern trends”
Some of the positive quotes were things like “you have a lot of experience and that can make people look up to you and ask for advice”, “you might have grandchildren to play with and that can be a source of great pleasure”; This was sub-divided into quotes about ”changes in the person” and “family”.