Quantitative and Qualitative Content Analysis (Scoial Sciences)


TypeResearch/Method Seminar
InstructorChristian Rauh, Pieter de Wilde
Number of Places15
Registration Mode
StartJul 24, 2014 | 10:00 AM
endJul 25, 2014 | 06:00 PM

Pre-meeting: 19 May 2014

Student Profile


Qualitative and Quantitative Content Analysis in the Social Sciences

Dr. Pieter De Wilde
Senior researcher, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB)
Dr. Christian Rauh
Senior researcher, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB)

Text is the most prevalent and easy-to-access type of information about various social phenomena in time and space. Texts as diverse as speeches, diaries, news reports, letters, or blogs bear witness of the priorities, positions, demands, or even values and norms of social actors. However, texts often come in comparatively unstructured form and require different levels of interpretation in order to extract the systematic information that social scientists require.
The offered course provides PhD students with a broad overview of content analysis methods in the social sciences. We discuss basic issues in designing a content analysis project and then briefly introduce the different approaches and methods that have been developed and used so far. The aim is to provide students with a broad overview of the
various methodological aspects of content analysis and a range of different forms, ranging from very qualitative to very quantitative. It enables informed decisions on whether and how content analysis methodology is suitable for answering students’ respective research questions. Given our own expertise, most applications and examples will come from political science but we are of course open to take up suggestions from other disciplines as well.
We expect a thorough study of the provided literature before the seminar, an active participation during the seminar and one presentation per participating student. The presentation is either a summary of one text or – if applicable – the discussion of an own content analysis research design. We offer the course as a two-day block seminar at the end of July 2014 and have scheduled an introductory meeting in mid-May in order to clarify mutual expectations and distribute the course assignments.

B. Indicative course contents and literature
1 Content analysis: History, scope and workflow
Krippendorff, Klaus (2004) Content Analysis: An Introduction to Its Methodology.
London: Sage Publications, Inc.: Chapters 1-3
Neuendorf, Kimberly (2001) The Content Analysis Guidebook. SAGE Publications, Inc.:
Chapters 1-
Macdonald, Keith (2008) ‘Using Documents’, in: Gilbert, Nigel (ed.) Researching Social Life.
2nd ed: SAGE Publications Ltd.: pp. 194-210
2. Methodological challenges: Text choice, sampling, reliability and validity
Krippendorff, Klaus (2003): Chapters 5, 6, 11 & 13
Neuendorf, Kimberly (2001): Chapters 4, 6, 7
3. Critical discourse analysis: Texts as social practice
Widdowson, H. G. (2007) Discourse Analysis, Oxford, Oxford University Press.: Chapters 1,
2, 6, 7
Fairclough, Norman (1992) Discourse and Text: Linguistic and Intertextual Analysis
within Discourse Analysis, Discourse & Society, Vol 3(2): 193-217
Van Dijk, Teun (1993) Principles of Critical Discourse Analysis, Discourse & Society, Vol
4(2): 249-283
4. Qualitative Content Analysis
Entman, R. M. (1993) Framing: Toward Clarification of a Fractured Paradigm. Journal of
Communication, 43, 51-58.
Gamson, W. A. & Modigliani, A. (1989) Media Discourse and Public Opinion on Nuclear
Power: A Constructionist Approach. American Journal of Sociology, 95, 1-37.
Surel, Y. (2000) The Role of Cognitive and Normative Frames in Policy-Making. Journal
of European Public Policy, 7, 495-512.
Mayring, P. (2000) Qualitative Content Analysis. Forum: Qualitative Social Research.
5. Quantitative Content Analysis
De Wilde, Pieter (2013) 'Representative claims analysis: theory meets method', Journal of
European Public Policy: 278-294.
De Wilde, P., Michailidou, A. & Trenz, H.-J. (2014) Converging on Euroscepticism: Online
Polity Contestation During European Parliament Elections. European Journal of Political
Research, Online First.
Koopmans, R. & Statham, P. (1999) Political Claims Analysis: Integrating Protest Event
and Political Discourse Approaches. Mobilization: An International Quarterly, 4, 203-221.
Kriesi, H., Grande, E., Lachat, R., Dolezal, M., Bornschier, S. & Frey, T. (2006) Globalization
and the Transformation of the National Political Space: Six European Countries
Compared. European Journal of Political Research, 45, 921-956.
6. Automated analyses of large text corpora: Promises and Pitfalls
Grimmer, Justin, and Brandon Stewart (2013) 'Text as Data: The Promise and Pitfalls of
Automatic Content Analysis Methods for Political Texts', Political Analysis 21(3): 267-297.
Laver, Michael, Kenneth Benoit, and John Garry (2003) 'Extracting Policy Positions from
Political Texts Using Words as Data', American Political Science Review 97(2): 311-331.
Blei, David (2012) 'Probabilistic topic models', Commun. ACM 55(4): 77-84.
King, Gary, Jennifer Pan, and Margaret Roberts (2013) 'How Censorship in China Allows
Government Criticism but Silences Collective Expression', American Political Science
Review 107: 326-343.