Media Frame and Content Analysis
This is a half-semester (0.50-credit) course Course Description Social science research methodologies are multifaceted, and draw on both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Regardless of approach, however, high quality research is rooted in a sound conceptual design, the appropriate methods of data collection, processing, and analysis, and a theoretically informed interpretation of results. In this course students apply qualitative content analysis─an approach that facilitates the analysis of words, concepts, and relationships─to the study of mass media. Mass media is a key set of institutions in modernity that shape our perceptions of the world, with important impacts on what we take to be reality. The media “frames” that structure how media is produced, conveyed, and consumed form the discourses that we use to understand a host of issues, including politics, culture, and environmental risk, to name a few. Content analysis takes the stuff of media, such as music lyrics, news stories, or advertisements, and systematically analyzes it for the explicit and implicit frames that represent the issues and perspectives conveyed through media. The study of information flow and risk communication is a critical area of research in both geography and sociology, therefore, this broad area of research is the focus of the course. In particular, the course provides students hands-on training in content analysis through a class project on risk communication about climate change. To aid in the research, students will use the qualitative data analysis software, MAXqda.
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