Next ACDC meeting, Roberto Franzosi on “Social Science Approaches to Textual Analysis”, 23 April 2014, 16:00-17:30, VU 14A37


Dear ACDC list members,

We are pleased to invite you to our next meeting. We welcome Roberto Franzosi (Emory University, Atlanta) who will present and discuss advantages and problems of linguistic analysis in the social sciences.

DATE: Wednesday, 23 April

TIME: 16:00-17:30

PLACE: VU Main Building room 14A37

Please let us now if you intend to come to the meeting by reply to this message. Drinks and snacks will be served..

In this data session we will analyse a newspaper article (1885, see attached, column 3, top) from different perspectives to see if/how methods with different goals can converge. Roberto is Professor in Sociology and Linguistics at Emory University (Atlanta, GA). His main interests have been in historical perspectives on social protests, fascism and lynchings in Georgia. His methodological interest is in language and measurements of meaning in texts. See details below.

The  May meeting will be a presentation by Afrooz Rafiee (Radboud University, Nijmegen). She would like to discuss her new project on value systems: ‘An Analysis of Child Abuse News in the USA and Iran: A Comparative Study.’  More information to follow. Notes from the meeting in March by Beatriz Miranda Galarza on the (de-) stigmatisation of disability are available on the ACDC website.

We look forward to seeing you on 23 April!

Kind regards,

The ACDC conveners

Bertie Kaal, Joyce Lamerichs, Nicolina Montesano Montessori, Steve Oswald, Ida Sabelis and Karen Verduyn

Social Science Approaches to Textual Analysis: 

Content Analysis, Frame Analysis, Discourse Analysis, Quantitative Narrative Analysis. What Do They See in This Text?

Roberto Franzosi

Emory University, 

Department of Sociology & Linguistics Program

During the second half of the twentieth century, the social sciences developed several approaches to the analysis of texts, some quantitative, some qualitative. Content Analysis (CA) was among the first such approaches, developed in the United States during WWII in order to interpret quantitatively enemies’ messages. CA came to focus mostly on the themes dealt with in a text. If CA deals with the “what” of a text, Discourse Analysis (DA) deals with the “how”, with the linguistics forms of a text and other forms of language use, particularly as they relate to the linguistic mechanisms underlying social relations of power. Frame Analysis deals with the persuasive aspects of a text, with the way texts “frame” a problem in order to be persuasive. FA has a great deal in common with rhetoric, for 2,500 years the art of persuasion. In FA, quantitative narrative analysis (QNA) deals with the narrative aspects of a text. QNA quantifies by structuring narrative information in a “story grammar” (basically the 5Ws + H of journalism: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How). QNA provides novel ways of visualizing textual information, along the lines of Digital Humanities Scholarship. The talk will start with a group discussion of a specific text, a newspaper article on the lynching of Peter Stamps published in The Atlanta Constitution newspaper on July 26, 1885. The “this” in the title refers to the attached article (col. 3 top). We can do a hands-on analysis of the text and discuss the affordances and pitfalls of qualitative and quantitative methods of text analysis for meaning. Attached is an draft article on the topic of discussion.

Articles by Roberto Franzosi, on

Franzosi, R. 1998. Narrative Analysis- or, why (and how) sociologists should be interested in narrative. Annual Review of Sociology, 24, pp. 517-554

Franzosi, R. 2004. Content analysis. In Alan Bryman and Melissa Hardy (eds.), Handbook of Data Analysis. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 547-566

Franzosi, R., G. De Fazio and S. Vicari. 2012. Ways of measuring agency: An application of quantitative narrative analysis to lynchings in Georgia (1875-1930). Sociological Methods 42, 1-42.

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