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COMM 2P20 Lecture 1.doc

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Communication Studies
Course Code
Baxter Moore

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COMM2P20 Lecture1 September12,2012 PrincipalResearchStrategies 1. Historical Approaches 2. Textual Analysis 3. Quantitative Approaches 4. Ethnographic Approaches HistoricalApproachesusing: - Historical documents - Archives - Oral histories - Physical traces To uncover the past (distant or recent) For example: Brock Festival '70 ApproachingtheText A "text" is any relatively permanent artifact (a human creation) that may be "read" for "meaning" Texts therefore include songs, dances, films, videos, TV shows, even landscapes As well as the printed word (fiction & non-fiction, books, newspaper and magazine articles, comics, advertisements) Various forms of textual analysis: - Genre analysis - Narrative analysis - Qualitative content analysis - Discourse analysis - Semiotic analysis - Numerous other forms used in film studies QuantitativeAnalysis - Statistical analysis of large samples including: - Quantitative content analysis - Survey research (public opinion polls, market research surveys) - Analysis of social statistics, business trends, charts, etc. (see assignment 1) EthnographicResearch Ethnography = writing culture Used to understand the cultures of groups and organizations Requires researcher to 'see through the eyes of' those being studied Approaches include: - Direct observation (especially participant observation) to be used in assignment 2 - Interviews (in-depth, qualitative forms) - - Oral histories (see historical research) WhyTheoriesandMethods - All scholarly research involves asking questions and trying to answer them The two fundamental questions: - What? - So What? - And what if? if not what I first expected or predicted, then what? - Theory suggests questions to ask and potential theses/ hypotheses and explanations - Methods are ways to collect evidence or data to help answer our questions and to test our hypotheses Making an Argument - What is an argument? - It's not simply taking up a contradictory position The Argument Sketch - According to Michael Palin of Monty Python: "An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition... argument is an intellectual process." Argument as an intellectual process: - Develop a thesis statement - Consider why it may or may not be true (theory, lit review, experience) - Gather evidence to test the thesis (research strategies and methods) - Develop a series of statements in its support (citing appropriate evidence) and explain why counter-arguments are not supported by the evidence - Conclude WhatisPopularCulture? - Defining culture - Defining popular - Elite or high culture vs popular culture - Mass culture vs popular culture - Everyday culture and popular culture Defining Culture - "One of the two or three most complicated words in the English language" (Raymond Williams) - For Williams, culture may be used in at least three ways: 1. A
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