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Fall 12: INF1240 Content & Discourse Analysis
Transcript of Fall 12: INF1240 Content & Discourse Analysis
"To make The Pink and Blue Project series, I visited children's rooms, where I displayed their possessions in an effort to show the viewer the extent to which children and their parents, knowingly or unknowing, are influenced by advertising and popular culture."
As Main Method
As part of the data analysis
Content analysis of the open-ended answers on a survey;
Discourse analysis of interview transcript;
Artifact analysis of objects observed or collecting during ethnography;
(Critical) Discourse analysis
Visual research methods
Idea that the "social" includes more than individual (and/or observable) experiences, behaviours and testimonials;
Interpretation as research & theory-building tool (or instrument). Subject to same reflexiveness, same rigorous questioning as other instruments.
Social = people and things (e.g. institutions, laws, textbooks, technologies, objects, animals, environments, buildings, cultural artifacts, materials...)
Discourses (popular, public, legal, etc.): circulate widely, become articulated in explicit and implicit ways, in various forms.
Texts & Artifacts as Traces
Example: Pink & Blue Project
Method to the Madness
Content analysis (quantitative & qualitative) - as method that systematizes the process, enhances reliability (i.e. others can reproduce) through tools and protocols (e.g. coding protocol, inter-coder reliability)
Objectivity vs. Transparency
Contrast with academic research: e.g. Hurlbert & Ling (Newcastle) 2007 - everyone prefers blue, but women gravitate toward pink/lilac
Respondents reported a preference
Researchers concluded it had evolutionary/biological basis
Explores trends in cultural preferences and the differences in the tastes of children (and their parents) from diverse cultures, ethnic groups as well as gender socialization and identity.
Once again - issue of "fit" between the question asked & method used; + method used & findings/conclusions produced.
What could an analysis of the contents & personalization of "mix tapes" from the 80s tell you?
Versus looking at "Top 40" charts?
Versus asking people about their musical tastes 20+ years ago?
shared beliefs, ideologies, norms (van Dijk's "social cognition") -hard to describe, difficult to grasp, experience in fragments
These "things" have properties, functions, authority, value, meanings, life cycles - all of which need to be understood
Key is in being transparent about interpretive frame - "bias" - not as limitation, so much as an instrument/guiding principle
WEEK 9: NOV. 5, 2012
Yet, we also express these things in various ways, every day, in the texts we produce: the diaries we keep, the emails we write, the songs we sing, the mash-ups we edit together....
1) relationship between gender and consumerism
2) relationship between urbanization, the globalization of consumerism and the new capitalism.
"This project began with my daughter. My six -year-old daughter loves pink. She wants to wear only pink clothes and only own pink toys and objects. My daughter is not unusual. Most other little girls in the United States and South Korea love pink clothing, accessories and toys." [...]
Danger (esp. in quantitative content analysis) to forget about the interpretive part of the process - identifying categories - and get lulled into the seeming objectivity of numbers.