Content analysis


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Content Analysis as a method of research. There is a video on youtube with explanation about this PPT.

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  • I am going to talk to you about content analysis, a method of research which examines any content. It is also known as Message System Analysis. This method of research belongs to varied parent disciplines like-
  • Since 1940s researchers in varied disciplines have been using content analysis for varied purposes.
  • You might ask where does the content come from? You must know that content analysis can be carried out on ANY content. There can be various sources of data.
  • You must understand that content analysis has many types. The simplest being word counting. In word counting we can merely total number of times a WORD appeared anywhere. The other type is conceptual analysis. In conceptual analysis as a researcher you would conceptual examine a given content. Semantics of semiology as science of signs examines MEANING of a given content. Evaluative assertive analysis is more of evaluative content analysis in which researcher want to confirm a given hypothesis through systematic examination of content. Contextual analysis examines when and why of a given content.
  • Lets look at a picture and examine the content of it. Here is a Micky Mouse symbol of global entertainment by Disney and Ronald McDonald suggesting food. The middle of the both is the ‘third’ world developing nations who may not have food to eat and clothes to wear. Global capitalism is about keeping people happy through advertising.
  • If you read newspapers post-Delhi gang rape case may such stories appeared on national dailies. One such story about a religious leader commenting on the incidence came on the front page of national daily like The Times of India. If you reflect you can simply count the words, examine structure of the story, notice location and importance given to such comment, undertake semantic analysis of this story or explore context of presentation of such stories on front page and thus given undue importance to such irresponsible remark.
  • It is important for you to know what are the steps to be followed to undertake content analysis research. Like any other research project- after you have formulated your research problem and objectives and reviewed related literature- in content analysis you decide content and define your FRAME. ONCE the data is collected, we analysis it like in any other research and write report depending upon the goals of your research.
  • Lets assume that you have right FRAME in place based on scope of your study-resources and objectives of your research. Next step is to decide your tool. Usually in content analysis we use schedules which are designed after proper test of reliability and validity. Most used method for validation are inter-coder reliability scores to avoid individual perceptual bias in data collection.
  • Content analysis has some very important advantages. It does not need you to go to the field as in survey or sit in the laboratory like an experiment. It can be done in your own house or classroom. It can be done on existing content and does not expect you to interview individuals or measure quantities in lab conditions. Many times it is the only available method of research may because the person who created the content is dead. Lets assume you want to examine representation of women in Guru Dutt films OR you want to research what was Jawaharlal Nehru’s thoughts on india’s development through his official speeches or what was his perception about father-daughter relationship in his letters. Such analysis can help us examine macro-strucutres at minimum costs and maximum comforts.
  • But all is not well. Content analysis does not guide us to understand WHY. We do not know why Guru Dutt showed women like that or why was Nehru gave importance to dams as modern temples. It merely describes and does not explain. Also it is restricted to available material only and limited to more of literate content. Sometimes as researcher from quantitative school content analysis pushes you to get into number traps which may not give us insights.
  • Content analysis

    1. 1. Content Analysis: Method of Research Mira K Desai Associate Professor University Department of Extension Education SNDT Women’s University
    2. 2. Parent Disciplines • Media and communication studies • Journalism, • History, • Literature, • Social sciences • Education • Library & information science
    3. 3. Sources of data in Content Analysis VISUALS (Photographs, Films, TV Programmes)
    4. 4. VERBAL PRINT (Newspapers, Magazines, Books) Sources of data in Content Analysis
    5. 5. Sources of data in Content Analysis VISUAL PRINT (Cartoons, Drawings, Illustrations)
    6. 6. Sources of data in Content Analysis PERSONAL DOCUMENTS (Letters, Autobiography, Diary, Official Documents…)
    7. 7. Sources of data in Content Analysis
    8. 8. Sources of data in Content Analysis DATA COLLECTION TOOLS (Open-ended Questionnaires, Interview Responses)
    9. 9. Types of Content Analysis • Word Counting or Space measurement • Conceptual Analysis • Semantic Analysis • Evaluative Assertion Analysis • Contextual Analysis
    10. 10. NewspaperClip
    11. 11. Steps in Content Analysis • Deciding content • Defining the FRAME • Deciding data collection tool • Validating reliability and validity of the tool • Collecting data • Data analysis • Writing the report
    12. 12. Concept of FRAME in Content Analysis • Scope and Resources dictate your Frame • FRAME is usually of ONE: DAY-WEEK-MONTH-YEAR • Creating Representative FRAME • Representative Week/Month/Year to avoid individual bias and extraneous variables
    13. 13. Advantages of content Analysis • Non-field design/method • Can be carried out on existing content • Un-obstructive design • Many times the only available method • Can reveal macro-structure at minimum cost and maximum convenience
    14. 14. Disadvantages of Content Analysis • Does not explain WHY of ‘content’ • It’s descriptive and not explanatory • Restricted to available material only • Limited to literate or selected few • May become obsessed with numbers without revealing insights