Oct 19 2011

Digital tools for content and discourse analysis?

First of all, let me say that I am also a THATCamp newbie like a lot of you, so I am looking forward to meeting up and have a DH crash course together! I’m planning on attending most of the workshops to gain my footing, but an unconference here and there would be really helpful too.

Right now I’m writing up a research proposal for funding and IRB review, and I usually run into problems when I write about qualitative analysis, specifically analyzing interview transcripts. Content and discourse analysis are fairly standard methods in the humanities, but in the social sciences they take on a slightly different form. Discourse analysis, especially, is heavily influenced by Michel Foucault and his writing in The Archaeology of Knowledge (1969). There are a lot of commercial softwares available for coding and content analysis, but for discourse analysis, one also needs to look at what isn’t there (as well as many other things.) Are there new tools that digital humanists use for these kinds of qualitative analyses? A recent tool that I’ve encountered is Scalar, but I don’t have much experience with it yet, and I also want to see what kind of projects other people have done.

About the author

Sean Wang

I am a population and sociocultural geographer, working at the household scale in North America. My graduate work draws on both demography and critical geographies of home, looking at gay couples' adoption experiences on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. My interests in digital humanities are to improve the use of technology in the classroom, to practice public scholarship and share my research, and to better incorporate GIS into humanities and social sciences.

Permanent link to this article: http://newengland2011.thatcamp.org/10/19/digital-tools-for-content-and-discourse-analysis/


  1. elizabethcornell

    It sounds like what you’re looking for might be found at RoSE, the “research-oriented social environment for tracking and integrating relations between authors and documents in a combined ‘social-document graph.’ It allows users to learn about an author or idea from the evolving relationships between people-and-documents, people-and-people, and documents-and-documents.”

    Here’s the link in case the one I tried to insert above doesn’t work:

  2. Sean Wang


    RoSE looks like an awesome project! Need to read about it in more detail, but it looks more like a tool for collaboration more than anything else. Do you (or anyone else) know of tools similar to these but incorporating more traditional coding softwares in qualitative social sciences?

    Clearly THATCamp is already working in my favor – so many new things to learn about!

  3. Sean Wang

    I will probably get most of what I need in Bootcamps and Workshops, so this is not a “must” for unconference like others posted here.

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