Presentation on theme: "1.Content Analysis Study of recorded human communication to answer the questions generally answered through communications research: Who says what to."— Presentation transcript:
1.Content Analysis Study of recorded human communication to answer the questions generally answered through communications research: Who says what to whom, how, why and to what effect? In order to do content analysis, you analyze written/oral/visual communication in terms of variables that will answer your research question. You have to operationalize your variables beforehand.
As “research method,” i.e. a mode of observation, content analysis requires that you OBJECTIVELY handle the data, i.e. “what is being communicated.” The analysis of that data in terms of variables answers the “why” and “with what effect” question.
The “Units of Analysis” in content analysis are the individual units that we make descriptive and explanatory statements about. Units of analysis e.g. groups, might be different to the units of observation (e.g. the individual) aggregating whom the group figure is arrived at. Determining units of analysis is important in selecting your observation sample in content analysis- the sample should be selected in an unbiased manner not selectively based on your operationalized variables
“Coding” in content analysis transforms raw data into standardized form, it is classification according to some conceptual framework, involves conceptualization and operationalization. Manifest and Latent Content : Manifest content is the visible, surface content- analogous to using a standardized questionnaire, latent content refers to the underlying meaning, the implied assumptions behind the communication. In creating code-categories, you need to ask yourself the question- Why do I think these two data parts are different so as to require different categories- then explain that clearly in the methodology segment of your paper.
Content ANALYSIS In analyzing communication based on predetermined, coded concepts that are categorically operationalized, you count their occurrence to see if a relationship exists- this counting is quantitative. For example, to answer the question, “Are men and women equally represented during evening prime- time TV?” 1. You select a sample of what channels to watch in the evening 2. The number of hours to watch 3. Count men and women that appear during that time on those channels. 4. Analyze the variation 5. Explain variation based on social theory with added “data” from the communication.
Strengths and Weakness of Content Analysis Strengths Easy in terms of process and cost Allows for easy correction of errors, the recorded communication is going nowhere, but is time intensive. Is an unobtrusive measure- no danger of experimental reactivity. Allows studying problems, answering research questions over time, if you have access to historical communication. Weakness Recorded information is always subjective, selection bias, subjective coding, limited utility in uncovering causation-
2. Analyzing Existing Stats Using already collected data for the purpose of your own analysis Deductive approach Statistical Analysis Univariate, bivariate and multivariate Constructing measures based on existing concepts through indexes and scales. Explanatory research answers the why question- through mimicking the experimental method- multivariate OLS regression analysis Also gives accurate descriptive picture that is generalizable given the sample unlike qualitative field research
Source of Existing Statistics U.S. Census Bureau World Population Data Sheet- Population Reference Bureau CIA World Factbook United Nations, Human Development Reports The World Bank- World Development Indicators Statistical Abstracts of the United States Google for more specialized sources on various countries reported by their data collecting agencies. Homework Assignment- Locate 5 of these sources on google.com, go to the site, copy the URL and pick either one country or variable and report its ONE statistic for each site. E.g. Family income in the U.S. or infant mortality rate for country x etc.
3. Historical-Comparative Research The use of historical methods by sociologists in order to examine social structure over time and in comparison with the present and with other societies. [Historical grounding of explanations of large scale and substantively important outcomes]. E.g. the Law of three stages by Auguste Comte, Durkheim’s Mechanical and Organic Solidarity, Marx’s distinction between feudalism and capitalism, Weber’s Protestant Ethic, etc.
Two Concerns in HC research 1. Source of the Data Primary and Secondary Sources Missing data:Subjective recording of history by the powerful, who make it, the powerless are often voiceless and unrecorded. Corroboration of events versus made up accounts.
2. How to analyze historical data: Verstehen- from the point of view of the time period and its culture Ideal Types- In terms of societal structures, understand the past through the existing societal structure because it is rooted in the past. Link historical facts to components of the current societal structure. Comparison between societies and across times through sameness and difference.