Content analysis and grounded theory
Originally deriving from analysis of mass media and public speeches, the use of content analysis has spread to examination of any form of communicative material, both structured and unstructured. It may be ‘applied to substantive problems at the intersection of culture, social structure, and social interaction; used to generate dependent variables in experimental designs; and used to study groups as microcosms of society’ (Weber 1990: 11). Content analysis can be undertaken with any written material, from documents to interview transcriptions, from media products to personal interviews. It is often used to analyse large quantities of text, facilitated by the systematic, rule-governed nature of content analysis, not least because this enables computerassisted analysis to be undertaken.