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GSSR Research Methodology and Methods of Social Inquiry www.socialinquiry.wordpress.com January 10, 2012 Research Using Available Data.

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Presentation on theme: "GSSR Research Methodology and Methods of Social Inquiry www.socialinquiry.wordpress.com January 10, 2012 Research Using Available Data."— Presentation transcript:

1 GSSR Research Methodology and Methods of Social Inquiry January 10, 2012 Research Using Available Data

2 Research Using Available Data (Secondary Analysis) - use of already existing sources of data; - generally refers to re-analysis of quantitative data; However: Content analysis

3 Content Analysis -analysis of text documents; -typically, the major purpose = identification of patterns in text; -unobtrusive; -can be a relatively rapid method for analyzing large amounts of text.

4 Involves: - selecting and defining a set of content categories; -defining & then sampling the elements of the text that are described by the categories; - quantifying the categories (ex. frequency of occurrence) - analyzing the data: relating content categories to one another, or to other variables.

5 Thematic analysis of text The identification of themes or major ideas in a document or set of documents (field notes, newspaper articles, technical papers, organizational memos, …)

6 Indexing -wide variety of automated methods for rapidly indexing text documents. Ex: Key Words in Context (KWIC) analysis = computer analysis of text data. Key word = any term in the text that is not included in an exception dictionary (exception dictionary includes all non-essential words like "is", "and", and "of"). All key words are alphabetized & are listed with the text that precedes and follows it, so the researcher can see the word in the context in which it occurred in the text.

7 Quantitative descriptive analysis -describe features of the text quantitatively Basic systems of enumeration 1. Time/space measures; Ex: space devoted to certain topics in newspaper articles; 2. Appearance; when does a category appear in the text; 3. Frequency; Assumptions: a) frequency of a category is a valid indicator of its importance, value, intensity; b) each individual count is of equal importance, value or intensity; 4. Intensity -devise mechanisms to judge the intensity of the category (similar to constructing scales and indexes).

8 Likely Methodological Problems a) the types of information available in text form are limited b) Bias due to sampling c) Bias due to (mis)interpreting results of automated content analyses


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