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Content Analysis

Content Analysis
An Introduction to Its Methodology

Fourth Edition

May 2018 | 472 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

What matters in people’s social lives? What motivates and inspires our society? How do we enact what we know?

Since the first edition published in 1980, Content Analysis has helped shape and define the field. In the highly anticipated Fourth Edition, award-winning scholar and author Klaus Krippendorff introduces readers to the most current method of analyzing the textual fabric of contemporary society. Students and scholars will learn to treat data not as physical events but as communications that are created and disseminated to be seen, read, interpreted, enacted, and reflected upon according to the meanings they have for their recipients. Interpreting communications as texts in the contexts of their social uses distinguishes content analysis from other empirical methods of inquiry.

Organized into three parts, Content Analysis first examines the conceptual aspects of content analysis, then discusses components such as unitizing and sampling, and concludes by showing readers how to trace the analytical paths and apply evaluative techniques. The Fourth Edition has been completely revised to offer readers the most current techniques and research on content analysis, including new information on reliability and social media. Readers will also gain practical advice and experience for teaching academic and commercial researchers how to conduct content analysis. 

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Preface to the Fourth Edition
Chapter 1. History
1.1 Some Precursors

1.2 Quantitative Newspaper Analysis

1.3 Early Content Analysis

1.4 Propaganda Analysis

1.5 Content Analysis Generalized

1.6 Computer Text Analysis

1.7 Qualitative Approaches

Chapter 2. Conceptual Foundation
2.1 Definition

2.2 Epistemological Elaborations

2.3 Examples

2.4 Framework

2.5 Contrasts and Comparisons

Chapter 3. Uses and Inferences
3.1 Traditional Overviews

3.2 Extrapolations

3.3 Standards

3.4 Indices and Symptoms

3.5 Linguistic Re-Presentations

3.6 Conversations

3.7 Institutional Processes

3.8 Areas of Likely Success

Chapter 4. The Logic of Content Analysis Designs
4.1 Content Analysis Designs

4.2 Designs Preparatory to Content Analysis

4.3 Designs Going Beyond Content Analysis

Chapter 5. Unitizing
5.1 Units

5.2 Types of Units

5.3 Ways of Defining Units

5.4 Productivity, Efficiency, and Reliability

Chapter 6. Sampling
6.1 Sampling in Theory

6.2 Sampling Techniques Applicable to Texts

6.3 Sample Size

Chapter 7. Recording/Coding
7.1 The Function of Coding and Recording

7.2 Coder Qualifications

7.3 Coder Training

7.4 Crowdcoding

7.5 Approaches to Defining the Semantics of Data

7.6 Records

Chapter 8. Data Languages
8.1 The Place of Data Languages in Analytical Efforts

8.2 Definitions

8.3 Variables

8.4 Nominal Variables

8.5 Ordered Variable

8.6 Metrics

8.7 Mathematical Operations

Chapter 9. Analytical Constructs
9.1 The Role of Analytical Constructs

9.2 Sources of Certainty

9.3 Types of Constructs

9.4 Sources of Uncertainty

Chapter 10. Analytical/Representational Techniques
10.1 Counts

10.2 Cross-Tabulations, Associations, and Correlations

10.3 Multivariate Techniques

10.4 Factor Analysis and Multidimensional Scaling

10.5 Images, Portrayals, Semantic Nodes, and Profiles

10.6 Contingencies and Contingency Analysis

10.7 Clustering

Chapter 11. Computer Aids
11.1 What Computers Do

11.2 How Computers Can Aid Content Analyses

11.3 Text Analyses

11.4 Computational Content Analyses

11.5 Qualitative Data Analysis Support

11.6 Frontiers

Chapter 12. Reliability
12.1 Why Reliability?

12.2 Reliability Designs

12.3 Agreement on Coding Predefined Units

12.4 Accuracy, Surrogacy, and the Decisiveness of Majorities

12.5 The Reliability of Text Mining and Information Retrieval

12.6 Agreement on Unitizing and Coding Finite Continua

12.7 Agreement on Multi-Valued Coding

12.8 Statistical Properties of a

Chapter 13. Validity
13.1 Validity Defined

13.2 A Typology for Validating Evidence

Chapter 14. A Practical Guide
14.1 Designing an Analysis

14.2 Writing a Research Proposal

14.3 Applying the Research Design

14.4 Narrating the Results

About the Author

Solid overview of various types of content analyses and practical tools

Mrs Grazyna Wiejak-Roy
Faculty of th Environment and Technology, University of The West of England
March 1, 2023

This is perhaps a little 'heavy going' for our students, who will usually be completely new to research methods, and won't have come across content analysis before. However, it's a really useful text for anyone wanting to explore content analysis techniques in more depth. I would recommend it as follow-up reading to a more 'entry-level' text.

Dr Kerry McSeveny
Communication & Media, Sheffield Hallam University
January 21, 2021

This is a comprehensive and well structured book, and one that is easy for students to refer to when they need specific information on different topics.

Mr Peter Ride
Department of English, Linguistics & Cultural Studies, Westminster University
December 27, 2018

This book and its previous editions is one of the fundamental readings in all of my courses. It covers all important aspects of qualitative and quantitative content analysis.

Dr Daniel Rasch
Political Science, German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer
November 6, 2019
Key features
  • An updated formula for computing the reliability of unitizations helps researchers standardize the units of text on which coders work and reduce coding errors.
  • A new section on crowdsourcing shows readers how to measure the accuracy, surrogacy, and reliability of crowds.
  • New discussions around social media show readers how computer-aided text has impacted the ways society examines itself.  
  • Several dimensions of Krippendorff’s Alpha have been expanded for assessing the reliability of crowdcoding, multi-valued coding of predefined units, and unitized textual continua. 
  • During the 38 years it has been in print, this award-winning text has pioneered the development of content analysis and continues to shape the field with each new edition. It has been widely adopted as a text in social science, humanities, and business curricula, served researchers as a guide for the design and execution of large and small content analyses, and provided epistemologically sound standards for justifying as well as critically evaluating content analysis findings.
  • Winner of the International Communication Association’s Fellows Book Award for its lasting contribution to the advancement of communication studies, this market leader has taught generations of social scientists about the methodology of the research and has been translated into seven different languages.
  • Gaining an enormous following, author Klaus Krippendorff’s work on content analysis was honored with the first methodological innovation award from the Mass Communication Division of International Communication Association.
  • References to The Content Analysis Reader provide easy access to canonical examples to enrich the reader's experience.
  • Krippendorff condenses the methodological requirements and conceptual opportunities of content and text analysis into a practical guide, incorporating his experiences as researcher, teacher, and consultant to academic and commercial projects, and providing readers with a useful entry into the use of the research method.
  • A glossary of technical terms provides a further understanding of relevant concepts.

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