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Paper Topic:

what is content analysis? What are the strenghts and weaknesses of this method?

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02 June 2008

Content Analysis

In his book , Babbie devotes the whole chapter to the and analysis of content analysis in sociology . Content analysis is the study of recorded human communications (Babbie 328 . The list of possible content analysis sources includes Web pages , speeches , poems newss , and even paintings (Babbie 328 . Content analysis does not simply investigate the content and the essence of the mass media it critically examines the application of the content information across a wide range of social

spheres . The key to understanding content analysis is in the way various sociological issues are presented in different sources of human communication (e .g , how often a particular news publishes articles about women

In sociology , content analysis displays several important strengths First , Wright writes that it is relatively easy to gain access to the publication or source to be studies (74 . Second , content analysis allows building an inexpensive representative sample . Third , content analysis produces relevant quantitative results , and is easily replicable in various social environments . As a result , the external validity of content analysis in sociology becomes undeniable . However the chosen sample (source ) is not always representative of the population group to be researched . Content analysis makes special emphasis on the quantitative characteristics of human relationships failing to explain the quality of these relationships in detail . Content analysis can be time-consuming (e .g . when the researcher needs to analyze and process information from numerous newss or TV sources Content analysis is connected to sampling bias , when a researcher wants to make generalizations for artifacts of a particular type (Shortell If such artifacts are unavailable , the choice of the sample group becomes biased . Finally , content analysis is just another type of statistical research , which provides us with an insight into people 's social conduct at a given moment of time it describes , but does not explain the patterns of social behavior

Works Cited

Babbie , E . The Basics of Social Research , 4th edition . Wadsworth Publishing , 2007

Shortell , T . Content Analysis ' 2006 . Principles of Social Research 02 June 2008

HYPERLINK "http /soc19 .courseserve .info ?q node /20 http /soc19 .courseserve .info ?q node /20

Wright , C .R . Mass Communications : A Sociological Perspective McGraw-Hill College

1986

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