Content analysis
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Content Analysis. Content Analysis. Content Analysis One type of unobtrusive research The analysis of social artifacts, usually communications media Books, magazines, advertising, TV shows, movies, URLs, legal statutes, paintings, photos, architecture, etc.

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Content Analysis

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Content analysis

Content Analysis


Content analysis1

Content Analysis

Content Analysis

  • One type of unobtrusive research

  • The analysis of social artifacts, usually communications media

  • Books, magazines, advertising, TV shows, movies, URLs, legal statutes, paintings, photos, architecture, etc.

  • Most appropriate for theories about communications, norms, values


Content analysis2

Content Analysis

Sampling in Content Analysis

  • Units of Analysis

  • Great flexibility in selecting units of observation and analysis

  • Literature: Books, chapters, pages, lines, or words


Content analysis3

Content Analysis

  • Units of Analysis

    • Great flexibility in selecting units of observation and analysis

    • Literature: Books, chapters, pages, lines, or words

      • Or, themes, plot, characters, tone, connotation, etc.

    • Magazines: editions, articles, pages, text, photos, captions, etc.

    • URLs: pages, frames, sections, etc.

    • TV shows: days, hours, segments, scenes, etc.

    • People: authors, journalists, editors, publishers, artists, etc.


Content analysis4

Content Analysis

  • Sampling

    • You must specifically define the sampling frame

      • Authors… English? 20th century? Fiction? Horror?

      • TV shows… Channel(s)? Days of the week? Hours of the day?


Content analysis5

Content Analysis

  • 2. Content Analysis

    • Sampling

      • You must specifically define the sampling frame

        • Authors… English? 20th century? Fiction? Horror?

        • TV shows… Channel(s)? Days of the week? Hours of the day?

      • Use EPSEM unless it is necessary to use NPS

      • It is very helpful to stratify and cluster sample;

        • Stratify books by year; magazines by frequency of publication

        • Cluster sample books by authors, magazines by publishers


Content analysis6

Content Analysis

  • Sampling

    • Use EPSEM unless it is necessary to use NPS

    • It is very helpful to stratify and cluster sample;

      • Stratify books by year; magazines by frequency of publication

      • Cluster sample books by authors, magazines by publishers

    • You can use these techniques to sub-sample

      • Selected chapters in selected books by an author


Content analysis7

Content Analysis

  • Sampling

    • You can use these techniques to sub-sample

      • Selected chapters in selected books by an author

    • You can also sample multiple units of analysis

      • Sample segments of TV shows AND commercials

      • This allows one to link analysis of shows to commercials


Content analysis8

Content Analysis

Coding in Content Analysis

  • Coding – classification or quantification of content

    • Code editorials ordinally as “very liberal” ... to “very conservative”

    • “Manifest” and/or “latent” content may be coded…

    • … content may be coded quantitatively or qualitatively


Content analysis9

Content Analysis

Coding in Content Analysis

  • Coding – classification or quantification of content

    • Code editorials ordinally as “very liberal” ... to “very conservative”

    • “Manifest” and/or “latent” content may be coded…

    • … content may be coded quantitatively or qualitatively

  • Manifest Content


Content analysis10

Content Analysis

Coding in Content Analysis

  • Manifest Content

    • Explicit or stated content

    • Lends itself to quantitative coding and reliable measures

    • Code quantitatively by counting the times a word or phrase is used

    • You can also conduct qualitative manifest coding

    • Use nominal codes to categorize the connotation of words or phrases


Content analysis11

Content Analysis

Coding in Content Analysis

  • Latent Content

    • Implicit content; unstated but underlying meaning

    • Lends itself to qualitative coding and valid measures

    • Code qualitatively by categorizing the meaning of passages

    • You can also code quantitatively

    • Use subjective scores to rate the degree of some quality in a passage (1=lowest, 10=highest)


Content analysis12

Content Analysis

Coding in Content Analysis

  • Revising Codes

    • Coding in content analysis allows for dialogue between theory & data

    • You can use both deductive and inductive logics

    • Begin with a theoretical question and key concepts…

    • … but be ready to revise them as you code data


Content analysis13

Content Analysis

Coding in Content Analysis

  • Record Keeping

    • You must have a clear, consistent, justifiable coding system

      • When counting, state what you’re including and excluding

      • When categorizing, state the criteria for making your distinctions

      • Keep a codesheet with all of your codes


Content analysis14

Content Analysis

Coding in Content Analysis

  • Record Keeping

    • You must have a clear, consistent, justifiable coding system

      • When counting, state what you’re including and excluding

      • When categorizing, state the criteria for making your distinctions

      • Keep a codesheet with all of your codes

    • If the units of observation and analysis differ, this must be justified

      • Codes refer to units observed; measures refer to units analyzed


Content analysis15

Content Analysis

Coding in Content Analysis

  • Record Keeping

    • For counts, count the total units sample to derive a rate base

      • If you count usage of a specific word, count the total words sampled

      • This allows calculation of rates (keywords / 1000 total words)

      • Rates facilitate comparisons to test theory

    • For qualitative analysis in content analysis, see the QLA notes


Content analysis16

Content Analysis

Strengths and Weaknesses of Content Analysis

  • Strengths

    • Very flexible units of analysis; lends itself to comparative analysis

    • Most media are cheap and easy to access

    • Content analysis is easy to replicate


Content analysis17

Content Analysis

Strengths and Weaknesses of Content Analysis

  • Strengths

    • Very flexible units of analysis; lends itself to comparative analysis

    • Most media are cheap and easy to access

    • Content analysis is easy to replicate

  • Weaknesses

    • Media must be recorded somehow to be subject to analysis

    • Some social artifacts may be hard to review


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