(draws heavily on paper by Ryan
Approaches & Techniques
- to understand a concept, see how it is used. grab the paragraph in which
the word is embedded
Compare & Contrast
- take pairs of text and figure out how the are similar and how different
from each other.
Looking for key elements
- theoretical variables
- salient words
- binary oppositions
Coding & Netting
- low level codes
- super codes
- selective coding -- core category
Pilesorts & MDS
- text ratings (true codes)
Things to look for
Variables of theoretical interest
- have in mind certain areas that are always important issues, or which are
predictably interesting given the data
- in "hooking up" dataset
- how does it start and end?
- what functions does it serve?
- what are the social consequences?
- in general
- obstacles to change
- socially significant personal attributes
- drawing connections among frequently repeated words: what is salient to
In general, examining what people say to find clues about how they see the world.
- looking for what's missing. sometimes tells you what is most sensitive.
- for both interviewing, which is real-time analysis, and analyzing texts
- metaphors, schemas, scripts, binary oppositions
Chains of binary oppositions
- marriage -- seeing marriages as journeys, trials, rocks,
- organizations -- seeing organizations as families, machines,
organisms, information processors, societies, ecosystems, etc.
||tough on crime
||soft on crime
frames, schemas, scripts
Semantic relations & connectors
- hooking up (has some sequential elements, like a script)
- crime (frame)
- restaurant (script)
- sexual harassment (both frame and script)
- signaled by: "the"; implicit reference (things unstated but
necessary for understanding)
- John went to a restaurant. He asked the waitress for coq au
vin. He paid the check
- the use of "the" when neither waitresses nor checks have
previously been discussed signals the assumption of a shared schema or
script. The speaker assumes the listener expects a waitress and a
check to be present in a story about a restaurant visit.
- John wanted to do well on the exam, but his pen ran out of ink and his pencil broke.
He tried to find a pencil sharpener, but there wasn't one in the room. Finally he borrowed
a pen from another student. By then he was so far behind he had to rush, and the teacher
took off points for poor penmanship
- to understand this story, the listener needs to know some basic
stuff -- otherwise the final sentence is a complete non-sequitur
- cause & effect
- part of
- signaled by connector words like
- causes: because, since, as a result
- conditionals: if, instead
- taxonomic categories: a, kind of
- dendrograms of part whole relationships
- pauses, changes in tone, recurrent phrases signal thematic shifts. So
helps to identify themes
- Jehn and Doucet use a number of these techniques in their papers. For a
summary, see this handout