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Programme

Researching the Public Sphere -

Methods for Content and Discourse Analysis

16-20 November 2010 at Freie Universität Berlin

 

Draft Programme (15 June 2010)

 

Morning

Afternoon

Evening

Day 1Tuesday

16 November 2010

  Arrival and first team session (Marianne van de Steeg) Social event ‘Berlin Surprise Tour’
Day 2 Wednesday

17 November 2010

Content analysis (Roel Popping) Content analysis (Roel Popping) Free time
Day 3 Thursday

18 November 2010

Second team session (Marianne van de Steeg) Critical discourse analysis (Veronika Koller) Dinner with Veronika Koller
Day 4 Friday

19 November 2010

Large-N content analysis (Brit Helle Aarskog) Large-N content analysis (Brit Helle Aarskog) Round Table Discussion on the ‘Public Sphere’ (with Thomas Risse, Marianne van de Steeg and Barbara Pfetsch)
Day 5 Saturday

20 November 2010

Large-N content analysis (Brit Helle Aarskog) Large-N content analysis (Brit Helle Aarskog) Closing of the Winter Method School

All Sessions will be held in English!

 

Sessions in Detail

Before the method school starts

  • Relevant literature will be available to all participants in advance.

  • Everybody has read the two articles for the session on content analysis and at least one of the five articles for the session on critical discourse analysis.

  • Selected a few sample texts in relation to the own research question. The sample texts should be in English, so that everybody can understand it. Bring this along on an USB stick.

  • Those of you who already have a large N text database (e.g. 200.000 to 300.000 words) can bring this along. Instead of doing the exercises of days 4 and 5 with the sample large N text database provided by the teacher Brit Helle Aarskog, you can do the exercises with your own database. Make sure that beforehand your text database is cleaned and prepared for quantitative content analysis. Before the course starts, an on-line guide on how to clean and prepare a large text corpus written by Brit Helle Aarskog will be made available.

 

Day 1 - 16 November 2010

Noon

Arrival & registration

Afternoon

First team session: Content Analysis & Research design with Marianne van de Steeg (FU Berlin)

  • We will first discuss the two articles on the basics of content analysis everybody has read in advance. What are the main steps in this research procedure? What type of research questions can be answered with this method? How to guard reliability and validity of the research results? What does this method imply for the research design?
  • Then, in five smaller groups, the participants will work on a research design and a small pilot sample. This is prepared in such a way that it can be presented to the whole group and the teacher Roel Popping on 17 November.

Evening

Social event: Berlin Surprise Tour

 

Day 2 – 17 November 2010

Morning

Welcome by Thomas Risse (FU Berlin)

Whole day

Lecture on Content Analysis by Roel Popping (Groningen University, the Netherlands)

  • Introduction to Content Analysis (quantitative and qualitative)

  • Presentation of the five research projects prepared on 16 November

  • Basics of Content Analysis & Comments on the presented research projects

  • Each group reworks its research project: Presentation and final comments by Roel Popping

  • How to deal with problems that may arise while making a Content Analysis?

  • Pivotal decision-making moments: the task of a human coder.

 

Day 3 – 18 November 2010

Morning

Second team session: Critical Discourse Analysis & Research design with Marianne van de Steeg (FU Berlin)

  • Each participant has assigned him/herself to one of the five articles on Critical Discourse Analysis. In the same manner as during the first team session on content analysis, we will discuss the five articles.

  • Then, in five smaller groups, the participants will work on a research design and a small pilot sample to be presented in the afternoon.

Afternoon

Lecture on Critical Discourse Analysis by Veronika Koller (Lancaster University, the UK)

  • Presentation of the group work

  • Basics of Critical Discourse Analysis theory and methodology

  • Discussion

  • Working with Wmatrix, software developed originally for lexical, grammatical and semantic corpus analysis, but now used to facilitate critical discourse analysis too

  • Comments on the work done with Wmatrix

Evening

The participants may want to join Veronika Koller for dinner to discuss the questions that have arisen

 

Day 4 – 19 November 2010

Whole day

Lecture on Large N Content Analysis by Brit Helle Aarskog (Bergen University, Norway)

  • Introduction to working with large text corpuses

  • Basics of WordSmith, software that facilitates a quantitative content analysis of large corpuses & Practical exercises

  • Using WordSmith to identify clusters in the text dataset that are relevant for the research question

Evening

Roundtable Discussion on the Public Sphere

Discussants:

 

Day 5 – 20 November 2010

Whole day

Lecture on Large N Content Analysis by Brit Helle Aarskog (Bergen University, Norway)

  • Introduction to combining quantitative large N content analysis with qualitative coding

  • Basics of Atlas.ti & Practical exercises

  • Using Atlas.ti to answer questions about actors, indicators of the problem that is being discussed, and indicators of space and time.

Evening

Closing the Public Sphere Method School in Berlin