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JMCE/RECON Workshop: Computer-aided methods of textual analysis

Authors Workshop “How to Make Use of Computer- and Corpus-Linguistic Methods for Large-n Text Analysis in the Social Sciences?”


May 27, 2010 Freie Universität Berlin


Director: Cathleen Kantner, Amelie Kutter, Thomas Risse

Contact: cathleen.kantner@eui.eu, jmce@zedat.fu-berlin.de


In the last years the EU has funded large comparative research projects on a European public sphere that are based on content analysis data. A lot of effort has been invested in developing and generating large scale data sets. However, the sheer amount of data stretched the methodological capacities for text analysis usually used in the social sciences to their limits. This way research on the transnational European political communication stimulated the import of new computer-assisted methodologies.

This workshop brings together 12 researchers that are familiar with computer- and corpus-linguistic methods to be employed for the management and analysis of large-n, multi-lingual data sets. In its interdisciplinary outset the workshop brings together political scientists who investigated transnational European public spheres with these innovative methods and who share the experiences made and, on the other hand, computer- respectively corpus-linguists from various countries who are working on the development of even more complex methods. The workshop therefore will help to consolidate the experiences made so far as well as sketch avenues for further research and methodological experimentation.

The discussion during the workshop centered around two sets of questions:

• Corpus-construction: How to retrieve and compile corpora for the social sciences

from existing databases? How to manage them? And how to cleanse the raw


• How to pursue the analysis of large-n corpora with innovative methodological tools?