Presentation on theme: "GSSR Research Methodology and Methods of Social Inquiry www.socialinquiry.wordpress.com January 10, 2012 Research Using Available Data."— Presentation transcript:
GSSR Research Methodology and Methods of Social Inquiry January 10, 2012 Research Using Available Data
Research Using Available Data (Secondary Analysis) - use of already existing sources of data; - generally refers to re-analysis of quantitative data; However: Content analysis
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.
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.
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, …)
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.
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).
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