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Matti Siemiatycki

Chapter 16 ContentAnalysis Examination of various documents and texts Printed / Visual /Aural / Virtual Quantitative - coded data into predetermined categories in a systematic and easily replicable manner - yield a quantitative description of characteristics of a communication - objective and systematic - transparency in the coding procedures  limit personal biases  replicability - coding rules may reflect the researcher’s interests and concerns  a product of subjective bias  once formulated, the rules can be applied without bias Qualitative - seeking to uncover deeper meanings in the materials Revolve around - WHO does the reporting - WHAT gets reported - WHERE does the issue get reported - WHEN it gets reported - WHY does the issue get reported - OMISSION of coverage - CHANGE in coverage over time What things are to be counted? 1. Words - Counting the frequency of certain words  uncover the characteristics deemed desirable in a date Reveal emphasis, style, overplaying of certain events Encouraged different emotions among readers - Examination of the pairing of keywords 2. Subjects and themes - Code text in terms of subjects and themes - Interpretative approach - Not just obvious / manifest content but also underlying / latent content 3. Value positions - Demonstrate a certain value position taken in the texts - Coding of ideologies, beliefs, and principles Coding 1. Designing a coding schedule - Aform onto which the data are entered - Blank cells to write code - One row for each media item 2. Creating a coding manual - Aset of instructions to coders that includes all possible categories for each dimension being coded - Provides: a list of all the dimensions; the different categories subsumed under each dimension; the number that correspond to each category; guidance to coders on what should be taken into account in coding a particular dimension - Inter-coder, Intra-coder reliability 3. Potential pitfall in devising coding schemes - mutually exclusive categories no overlapping in categories supplied for each dimension - exhaustive every possible dimension should have a category - clear instructions coders should be clear about what factors to take into account when assigning codes - clear unit of analysis - conduct pilot study identify difficulties in applying it - Inter-coder reliability consistency between coders how closely two or more observers of the same behavior agree on how to code it - Intra-coder reliability consistency in the application of the observation schedule by a single observer over time Qualitative content analysis Search for underlying themes in the materials analyzed and used in several of the studies referred to earlier 1. Ethnographic content analysis - Allows greater refinement of those categories and generation of new ones - Process of constant discovery and comparison - Emphasize the context within which documents are generated 2. Semiotics - Another form of study of qualitative content analysis - Science of signs Analysis of the signs and symbols encountered in everyday life Sign = something that stands for something else, made up of a signifier and the signified Signifier = thing that points to an underlying meaning Signified = the meaning to which the signifier points Denotative meaning = manifest or more obvious meaning of a signifier and as such indicates its function Connotative meaning = meaning that can arise in addition to its denotative meaning Polysemy = the notion that signs can be interpreted in many different ways - seeks to uncover hidden meanings that reside in texts - arbitrary interpretation 3. Hermeneutics - Approach that has been used in understanding and interpreting the Bible - Also other texts too - Influential in the formation of interpretivism (interpretive understanding of social action; using their own common-sense constructs, individuals interpret the reality of daily lives and motivate their behavior) as an epistemology - Common with Weber’s notion of Verstehen - The analyst of a text must seek its meanings from the perspective of its author - Considering the social and historical context within which the text was produced Readers and audiences –Active or Passive Audience reception Active interpreters of what they see or hear Passively derive meanings that authors or designers infuse into their texts Are their interpretation same as what other social scientists would make? Do they match those of the original readers and audiences Two approaches to the study of language (communication) 1. Conversational analysis Root in Ethnomethodology – Sociological approach to communication that focuses on the practical, common-sense reasoning people use in their everyday lives Notions of cause and effect Generalizations that allow people to perform everyday tasks This reasoning and communication is presented as a way in which social order is created Social order is not pre-existing force constraining individual action but as something that is worked at and accomplished by people through interaction See them as an accomplishment, as the eventually taken-for-granted patterns arising from the activities of ordinary people Indexicality: the meanings of words or utterances, including pauses and sounds, depend on the context in which they are used Reflexivity: talk is not a mere representation of the social world, standing for something else, but is itself a reality Fits two aspects of qualitative research Preference for a contextual understanding of action Ontological position associated with constructionism Procedures to study talks  positivist Here-and-now context of immediately preceding talk Avoid wider focus on values, beliefs, typical modes of behavior Assumptions of conversation analysis Talk is structured (talk comprises patterns) Talk is forged contextually (analyzed in terms of its context) Analysis is grounded in data Transcription and attention to detail Ways in which CA proceeds Turn-taking Adjacency pairs Preference organization 2. Discourse analysis Incorporates CAbut goes beyond Less emphasis on naturally occurring talk The way versions of the world, of society, events and inner psychological worlds are produced in discourse The way a particular set of linguistic categories relating to an object, and the ways of depicting it, frame the way people comprehend that object Can become a framework for justifying the power of those who provide such treatment and for their treatment regimens Discourse is much more than language - anti-realist: denies that there is an external reality awaiting a definitive portrayal by the researcher - constructionist: emphasis is placed on the versions of reality propounded by members of the social setting being investigated (depend on perception of individual) Producing facts Using variation as a lever (playing down numbers) Reading the detail Looking for rhetorical detail sensitive to how arguments are constructed Speculations about motives Both CAand DAdismiss the notion of a pre-existing material reality that can constrain individual behavior Lack of attention to material reality Advantages of content analysis - transparent research method, making replication easy  ‘objective’method - allows for a longitudinal analysis with relative ease - unobtrusive method, a method that does not change the behaviours of participants in any way  non- reactive method - highly flexible method Disadvantages - authenticity; credibility; representativeness - coder interpretation - latent meaningshigher level of abstraction and correspondingly greater chance of invalidity - difficult to answer why questions - Atheoretical: focus on what is measurable than what is theoretically significant Ethical issue 2.1 An attempt to understand Nazi atrocities Deception (being told something that is not true) But the experiment wont work if telling the truth Would have made the research useless Ethical issue 2.2 Informed consent for experiments Not only ask for consent but also be informed of all the risks they would face Prospective participants should be given a basic idea of what the study would entail - extremely difficult to present absolutely all the information - wide spectrum of people  not practicable to tell everyone 2.3 Harm to participants What is harm? Physical harm, loss of self-esteem, stress and embarrassment What does likely mean? All ethical codes suggest that if there is any prospect of harm to participants, and if the risks of the research are greater than the risks of everyday life, informed consent is essential 2.4 Who define Harm Who makes actual decision about what constitutes harm University or institutional ethics committee Do the former have a conflict of interest Expected harm cannot outweigh the potential benefits of the research but hard to measure value judgment and scientific decision 2.5 Monetary incentive Some ethics board do not allow subjects to be paid for their participation except to cover costs such as parking Protect the poor from selling themselves to researcher Experimental design Best way to establish causality True experiment is often used as a yardstick against which non-experimental research is measured 1. Manipulation Impossible & Ethical concerns & gender roles, political preferences, formation of social movements  long-term causes that cannot be easily simulated in experiments Laboratory = artificial settings vs field experiment = real-life surroundings 2. classic experimental design experimental group vs control group find difference between the two groups after everything of two groups presumed to be the same  Obs = observation: pre-test and post-test Exp = experimental treatment (independent variable) T= timing Classic experimental design and validity Threats to internal validity History, events that occurred before manipulation  affect Testing  possibility that subjects may become more experienced at taking a test Instrumentation  changes in the way a test is administered can account for an increase in scores Mortality  problem of subjects leaving the experiment Maturation  people change over time Selection  Threat to external validity Interaction of selection and treatment Interaction of setting and treatment Interaction of history and treatment Interaction effects of pre-testing Reactive effects of experimental arrangements Replicability Procedures, measures Some form of deception was necessary Laboratory experiment Researcher’s greater control over the research environment Low external validity  not mirror real-world experiences Treatment effect may be unique to people (interaction of selection and treatment) Quasi-experiments ‘natural experiment’= naturally occurring phenomena or changes brought about by people not doing research result in experiment-like conditions in natural experiment, one is hard to assign independent variable Ethnography and Participant Observation Research is immersed in a group of people for an extended period of time, observing behavior, listening to what is said in conversation, and asking questions Documents and interviews to gather further data Micro-ethnography: focus on one specific aspect of a group, shorter time, when not feasible to conduct full- scale ethnography Access Gaining access to the social setting one wants to research How to gain access depends on several things 1. Open (public) setting Areas that everyone can gain access Doesn’t mean easy access to people Access to open settings - ‘hanging around’ - smoothed by sponsors and gatekeepers 2. Closed (private or restricted) setting Generally include organizations of various kinds Access to closed settings - friends, contacts, colleagues to help gain access - get someone in the organization to vouch for you and the value of research - offer something in return - provide clear explanation of aims and methods, - be prepared to negotiate - be frank about the amount of people’s time likely to be neede 1. Overt 2. Covert Ongoing access Access problems do not end after initial contact and entrée Maintaining access - people will be suspicious of our existence - group members will worry that what they say or do may get back to bosses or colleagues - some suspicious / concerning member would try to go along with researcher, engage in deception, provide misinformation smooth maintain access - play up your credentials - do not give people a reason to dislike you - play a role, involve - make sure a plan exists for how people’s suspicious can be diminished - be prepared for tests of either competence or credibility - be prepared for changes in circumstances key informants Roles for Ethnographers - complete participant: fully functioning member of a social setting but whose true identity is unknown to members  covert observer engaged in regular interaction with people and participates in their daily lives - participant as observer: fully functioning member but social setting are aware that the ethnographer is studying them  overt - observer as participant: researcher is mainly interviewer and observer but participates only marginally in the group’s activities - complete observer: no interac
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