content+analysis - 1 Introduction to Social Research...

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Introduction to Social Research Qualitative Data Analysis Exercise The objective of this exercise is to practice content analysis , a type of analysis that can be applied to very diverse types of qualitative data (e.g. transcriptions of in-depth interviews, focus groups and observations, or literary texts, newspaper articles, etc.). For this exercise, we are going to focus on the Annual Messages on the State of the Union that President John F. Kennedy delivered to the Congress in 1963, and that President George W. Bush delivered in 2006. I’ve selected those sections related to US foreign policy , and excluded sections on domestic affairs. 1. Pair up in groups of 4. 2. Two of you (subgroup 1) should read President Kennedy’s Annual Message (page 3), and the other two (subgroup 2) should read President Bush’s (page 9). 3. Coding the transcriptions . For each paragraph in the transcriptions, identify at least one theme or concept (“code”) and write them down in the right margin near the relevant text. Mark other places in the transcription that also address these categories. Remember that each paragraph (or even each sentence) can be multiply coded , that is, it can have more than one code associated to it. 4. Comparing codes . After each subgroup has coded its corresponding transcription, go over them together, reading and comparing the codes you wrote on the sides. In doing so, please, Code omissions . If, for example, subgroup 1 came up with a code that would apply to a sentence/paragraph overlooked by subgroup 2 in its transcription, go back and code that sentence/paragraph using the code developed by subgroup 1. Merge similar codes . If, for example, subgroup 1 has one code named “Economic crisis” and subgroup 2 has one named “Economic recession,” merge both codes under one or the other. Split dissimilar codes . If both subgroups coded a sentence/paragraph under “Achievements,” but one paragraph is related to Diplomacy and the other one to public schools, re-code these paragraphs as “Achievements/Diplomacy” and “Achievements/Education,” respectively. 5. Building a “code tree .” Make a list of all the codes that appeared in both transcriptions . The list should have the format of a code tree , where categories are grouped together using theoretical criteria, or simply common sense. For example: 1. Domestic Affairs 1.1. Economy 1.1.1. Economic recession 1.1.2. Employment/unemployment levels 1.2. Education 2. Foreign Policy 6. Of all the codes included in your code tree, select a single code that you would like to address. 7. Creating quotations sheets . Select all relevant quotations that pertain to that code in both transcriptions and copy them in one sheet. In doing so, identify the source between 1
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brackets. For example: “In short, both at home and abroad, there may now be a temptation to relax” (President Kennedy, 1963). 8.
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2011 for the course SOCIOLOGY 920:311 taught by Professor Phillips during the Fall '10 term at Rutgers.

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content+analysis - 1 Introduction to Social Research...

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