Question
Asked 17th Jun, 2018

Content vs Textual Analysis?

What is the difference between textual and content analysis in social science research? I am trying to write the methods section for a paper and past research has been jumping between the two terms, so now I'm not sure which to call mine.

Most recent answer

15th Mar, 2019
Mamta Mehar
Athena Infonomics
I recommend reading below:
- Chapter 9, Frey, L., Botan, C., & Kreps, G. (1999). Investigating communication: An introduction to research methods (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
6 Recommendations

Popular answers (1)

17th Jun, 2018
Michael Daubs
Victoria University of Wellington
If you're coming from in the humanities/social sciences, content analysis, as discussed in the article Zouheir Maalej links above, is a method that systematically evaluates texts (where 'text' can mean a document, oral communication, an image, or a video) and often codes the elements of that text in order to outline an interpretation or interpretations that can (hopefully) be repeated by others. For example, a context analysis of a speech by a politician to identify key words and phrases which can be categorised (coded) to help you, as the researcher, identify ways in which particular ideologies (e.g., pro/anti-immigrant) are incorporated and expressed. Because content is coded, content analysis is often a way researchers turn qualitative data into quantitative data (e.g., the number of times a particular phrase is used, the number of times per hour a specific theme is raised, etc.), but content analysis is not necessarily quantitative in nature. In this case, the 'meaning' of a text is often interpreted from the text itself.
As the other answers suggest, textual analysis involves analysing not just the content, but also the structure or design of a text and how elements function, often as part of a larger (historical, cultural) context. For example, semiotic analysis examines linguistic and/or visual elements of a text (e.g., an advertisement) and the meaning of the text is interpreted not just from that text alone, but through a discussion of the sociohistorical and cultural meaning of those elements. In this case, the 'meaning' of a text is interpreted not just from the text itself, but through how that text 'speaks with' other texts as well.
20 Recommendations

All Answers (7)

17th Jun, 2018
Zouheir Maalej
Dear Alexandria,
You may want to have a look at the following link for content analysis:
However, textual analysis is something different, using one of the theories of textual analysis such as text linguistics, discourse analysis, metaphor analysis, etc.
17th Jun, 2018
Abdullah Noori
Kabul University
Textual analysis is the rhetorical concepts that are used to analyze the features of texts. Contextual analysis is the understanding of particular rhetorical acts as parts of a larger conversation.
2 Recommendations
17th Jun, 2018
Michael Daubs
Victoria University of Wellington
If you're coming from in the humanities/social sciences, content analysis, as discussed in the article Zouheir Maalej links above, is a method that systematically evaluates texts (where 'text' can mean a document, oral communication, an image, or a video) and often codes the elements of that text in order to outline an interpretation or interpretations that can (hopefully) be repeated by others. For example, a context analysis of a speech by a politician to identify key words and phrases which can be categorised (coded) to help you, as the researcher, identify ways in which particular ideologies (e.g., pro/anti-immigrant) are incorporated and expressed. Because content is coded, content analysis is often a way researchers turn qualitative data into quantitative data (e.g., the number of times a particular phrase is used, the number of times per hour a specific theme is raised, etc.), but content analysis is not necessarily quantitative in nature. In this case, the 'meaning' of a text is often interpreted from the text itself.
As the other answers suggest, textual analysis involves analysing not just the content, but also the structure or design of a text and how elements function, often as part of a larger (historical, cultural) context. For example, semiotic analysis examines linguistic and/or visual elements of a text (e.g., an advertisement) and the meaning of the text is interpreted not just from that text alone, but through a discussion of the sociohistorical and cultural meaning of those elements. In this case, the 'meaning' of a text is interpreted not just from the text itself, but through how that text 'speaks with' other texts as well.
20 Recommendations
13th Jul, 2018
Mutahar Qassem
Najran University
According to Titscher et al.(2000), content analysis is the longest established method of text analysis among the set of empirical methods of social investigation (Holsti 1968, Silbermann 1 974, Herkner 1974). It is for the present, however, somewhat difficult to proceed on the basis of a homogeneous understanding of method, in view of the rich and varied literature on 'content analysis'. Originally the term referred only to those methods that concentrate on directly and clearly quantifiable aspects of text content, and as a rule on absolute and relative frequencies of words per text or surface unit. Subsequently the concept was extended to include all those procedures which operate with (syntactic, semantic or pragmatic) categories, but which seek at least to quantify these categories by means of a frequency survey of classifications.
1 Recommendation
1st Sep, 2018
Mohammed Nasser Abdulsada
Wasit University
What are you writing about?
15th Mar, 2019
Mamta Mehar
Athena Infonomics
I recommend reading below:
- Chapter 9, Frey, L., Botan, C., & Kreps, G. (1999). Investigating communication: An introduction to research methods (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
6 Recommendations

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