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Research Methods in Politics 18

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  1. Research Methods in Politics18 Content Analysis Research Methods in Politics Chapter 18

  2. Teaching and Learning Objectives • to consider alternative definitions of ‘content analysis’ • to compare qualitative and quantitative content analysis • to consider the sub-types of content analysis • to learn how to carry out content analysis using latest available software. Research Methods in Politics Chapter 18

  3. Content Analysis • textual analysis • text mining • longstanding method • Cold War application, CIA, GCHQ • text, video, phone cons, e-mails • many advantages – plenty of it • disadvantages • new technology Research Methods in Politics Chapter 18

  4. Content Analysis • qualitative • highly interpretative • detecting bias • ‘Democracy’ • quantitative Research Methods in Politics Chapter 18

  5. BLAIR co-operation human rights peace and prosperity peace and development hope rule of law respect for others liberty rather than freedom stability partnership tolerance justice H hard work asylum merit worth CHIRAC liberty responsibility freedom with dignity multilateralism state sovereignty rule of law under UN equal dignity of all cultures respect for diversity dialogue BUSH fear tyranny taxes from censorship FREEDOM to choose raise families vote assemble worship GOD + DEMOCRACY + LIBERTY opposite of communismresponsibilityto defend vigilance, security military action sacrifice intervention pre-emption can’t be neutral SCHROEDER institutions to guarantee human rights popular participation shared trade sustainable development disarmament full state sovereignty social and material security minority rights BURLESCONI freedom and democracy defence of human rights Peace and development freedom from totalitarianism route from poverty PUTIN market economies decent standard of living choice anti-totalitarianism myth of partnership (NATO) caliphate Content Analysis of Post 9/11 on ‘Democracy’ Research Methods in Politics Chapter 18

  6. Quantitative Content Analysis • Zipf’s Law power-law function Pi ~ 1/ia • Key words, e.g. George W Bush, Inaugural 2005 Key Word Frequency • freedom 27 • liberty 15 • hope 8 • history 7 • tyranny 5 • God 4 Research Methods in Politics Chapter 18

  7. Structural Content Analysis • space (or time) devoted to the text • volume: headline type and font size • position or prominence of the text • use of accompanying illustrations or photographs • indications of direction or bias (for example, by stereotyping) • persistence over time (for example, the Daily Mail’s campaign over ‘asylum seekers’ and the Daily Express’ pre-occupation with Princess Diana) Research Methods in Politics Chapter 18

  8. Newspaper Circ (000s) Headline The Times 635 NHS faces treatment rationing The Guardian 365 11 government ministers fighting NHS cuts Daily Telegraph 899 Brown’s manifesto for Britishness The Independent 238 Shoot the messenger: Blair blames press for anti-war mood Daily Express 773 Big new tax on house owners Daily Mail 2,311 Now a school bans crucifix The Mirror 1,540 Big brother shot my dad dead The Sun 3,026 Shoot him, mum’s anger at beast who raped girl, 3 The Star 750 Big Bro on skids TV news (audience for post-watershed news, 000s) BBC News c 5,000 Reid moves to quell offender row ITN news c 3,000 Boys killed by Tube train Sky News c 2,000 Men killed in Tube tragedy National Newspapers, circulation and headlines, 13.01.2006 Research Methods in Politics Chapter 18

  9. Substantive Content AnalysisBritish parties’ ideological movement on a left-right scale 1945-97 (Budge, 1999: 5, Fig 11.1) Research Methods in Politics Chapter 18

  10. Content Analysis Software • AutoMap, CatPac, General Inquirer, Hamlet II, Leximancer, TACT, Textpack, Texstat, VBPro, Wordsmith, Winmax • The core functions include: • calculating word frequencies • excluding stopwords (‘the’, ‘and’, ‘in’ etc.) automatically • adopting lemmitisation to combine words with the same stem, e.g., go, going, gone, • using synonyms to categorise as one word all others having the same meaning, e.g., gone, quit, departed,etc • recording concordance by showing each word in its context (termed KWIC: key words in context) • using cluster analysis to group together words used in similar contexts • using co-word citation to identify the concurrence of key words. This is used by the US government’s Echelon Project to scan emails for terrorist activity. So emailers using a combination of, say, ‘bomb’ and ‘Islam’ are likely to automatically attract the attention of the security services. Research Methods in Politics Chapter 18

  11. Hamlet II • European design for Politics content analysis • Hamlet offers a number of analytical procedures including: • Joint Frequency Analysis • Jaccard coefficient • simple cluster analysis • multi-dimensional scaling • Procustean Individual Difference Scaling (PINDIS); • KWIC (key words in context) • Wordlist • Compare (to compare two or more texts) • Profile (which displays the distribution of words and sentence lengths) Research Methods in Politics Chapter 18

  12. HAMLET - Computer-assisted TextAnalysis - 17/01/2007 17:32:57 ======================================== The text is read from the file: State of the Union Address 2005.txt Counting collocations within a span of 50 words - WARNING : No collocates for "freedom" WARNING: some characters were not recognised when reading this file! WORD-SEARCHING IS INSENSITIVE TO CASE. There are 17 main entries in the search list. No synonyms / related items are recognised : CATEGORY/WORD COUNTS .................................... VOC.LST. FREQUENCY % VOC.LST. % TEXT CONTEXT UNITS Applause 67 36.61 1.30 67 better world 6 3.28 0.12 6 budget 3 1.64 0.06 3 democracy 8 4.37 0.15 8 economy 11 6.01 0.21 11 free* 27 14.75 0.52 27 God 1 0.55 0.02 1 history 5 2.73 0.10 5 hope 3 1.64 0.06 3 justice 4 2.19 0.08 4 liberty 7 3.83 0.14 7 sacrifice 1 0.55 0.02 1 society 5 2.73 0.10 5 tax 6 3.28 0.12 6 terror* 27 14.75 0.52 27 tyranny 2 1.09 0.04 2 Research Methods in Politics Chapter 18

  13. Dendogram Research Methods in Politics Chapter 18

  14. Research Methods in Politics Chapter 18

  15. the ready availability of texts the scope for comparative analysis easy-to-use (with practice) analytical software good tabulations of results eye-catching illustrations concurrence of key words does not necessarily indicate causal links the meanings of key words change over time and can be deliberately changed by political parties who exploit ‘feel good’ or ‘feel bad’ words to make their policies more attractive (e.g., ‘community’, ‘homeland’) overall, the analysis is not really conclusive enough to provide sufficiently reliable evidence to confirm your research hypothesis Content Analysis: Pros and Cons Research Methods in Politics Chapter 18

  16. Questions for Discussion or Assignments • Where and when should content analysis best be used? • Compare and contrast two or more of the available software packages • Working in teams, complete a structural content analysis of last week’s national TV and print news media accounts of national and international news from Monday to Sunday. What inferences and conclusions can you draw? • Complete a content analysis of all President George W. Bush’s State of the Union Addresses. Compare the analyses. What are your main conclusions? What are their limitations? Select two quality newspapers. Using CD-ROMs or Internet sources, evaluate their (emergent) bias for or against the Republican and Loyalist movements in N Ireland between the Good Friday Agreement (1998) and the St Andrews Agreement (2006). What conclusions can you draw? What reasons can you suggest for any changes of support? Research Methods in Politics Chapter 18