Theory, Method, and Practice in Computer Content Analysis

By Mark D. West | Go to book overview

1

In Praise of Dumb Clerks: Computer-Assisted Content Analysis

Robert L.Stevenson

INTRODUCTION

Content analysis is the least appealing of the several research methodologies available to the communication researcher. Our consternation is a function both of the limits of the method itself and the drudgery required to carry it out. We are rarely interested in media content for itself, but focus on it as the midpoint in a chain of behavior that defines content as the product of the behavior of the sender or as a stimulus whose effects on the receiver are the real interest. Unless we can link the content to something else, any result is vulnerable to the “So what?” question. Content itself is sterile, as so many purely descriptive studies of media coverage of Topic X or Group Y attest.

Does the use of the computer to assist content analysis merely alleviate the tedium inherent in employing the technique while perpetuating its weaknesses? Possibly, but new data sources and new techniques of analysis are changing this time-honored staple of the communication researcher’s tool kit. As a result, content analysis is both easier and can address a broader range of research questions. Here, I would like to note briefly (1) new data sources, (2) new approaches to content analysis possible with computer assistance, and (3) several examples of innovative studies that hint at the kinds of studies we may see in the near future. Everything I have to contribute here is well known to some communication researchers, and most of the “innovations” have already appeared in the literature. Still, within the mandate of this volume, it may be useful to restate what some already know while suggesting

-3-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Theory, Method, and Practice in Computer Content Analysis
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 193

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.