RE: [xmca] Content Analysis Suggestions

From: White, Phillip <Phillip.White who-is-at>
Date: Wed Jan 30 2008 - 14:44:57 PST

Eva Ekeblad did work in this area with xmca discussion threads and - oh, darn, i can't remember his name - Mike, the guy who teaches at Leslie College, Boston, who has done analysis of xmca threads - i'm embarassed i can't remember his name. i should. liked him a lot.
otherwise, Ivan, i'd follow a standard ethnographic approach - set a time span limit - 30 to 60 days - print out the messages, code them, and follow an Anselm Strauss approach of compare and contrast and build up a grounded, or James Spradley's work of building a taxonomy, etc. in short, see what emerges from the data.


From: on behalf of David Kellogg
Sent: Wed 1/30/2008 12:47 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Content Analysis Suggestions

  I'm wondering about the following research questions:
  a) Which types of threads are longer on XMCA: theory-based ones (e.g. "theorizing the subject", "artefact", almost anything with Andy Blunden attached) or practical problems (e.g. "software review", "culture of safety at work", or your own request)? What about the threads that Dr. Sawchuck has called "silly offshoots", which actually appear to be the most successful in terms of number of posts? Do members consistently SIGNAL a change from theory to practice or from practice to theory? If so, how (other than changing the subject line)?
  b) Is there a trade-off between length of post (in words) and length of thread (in turns, that is, in postings)? I suspect there is: shorter posts tend to start longer threads and vice versa, but I'm not sure why this should be. Might be related to a)?
  c) How does the discussion of the "free article" in MCA compare with other threads on XMCA in words and turns? Is there a major difference? In favor of which? What happens when article discussion DIRECTLY competes with a non-article thread (e.g. the thread on terms of endearment which was in direct competition with the discussion of Andy's article)?
  d) A small number of topics are cyclical (e.g. the ZPD, activity theory, Peirce) and "chronic". But we also have "solitons" which generate a great deal of enthusiasm and then entirely disappear (the discussion on development appears to have been one of these, but I can think of a number of others including Herb Clark, ape language, and a large number of political topics). Is there a content-based explanation for this?
  e) How are NEW members socialized? You might want to use someone like myself or Mark de Boer as a case study. One thing to look for is how they learn to write postings of the appropriate length (something I'm still having trouble with.)
  As you can see these are rather specific questions (and some of them are not obviously CONTENT-based). I guess I think that sometimes it's more useful to start out with a specific research question (even if it's based on quantitative comparison) and then derive the content-based categories of analysis for explanation. It works pretty well with classroom transcripts!
  Let us know what happens. I'm interested in the answers!
  David Kellogg
  Seoul National University of Education wrote:
  Hello Everyone,

I am currently taking a content analysis class at UCSD, which will require
as a final project a statistical analysis of some corpus of textual data.
I want to try it on this XMCA list, but I have not narrowed down what time
frame nor what kinds of categories to use in the analysis. If any of you
have suggestions, or know of content analysis studies down on XMCA or
other lists of this, I would be very grateful. Some categories I've been
thinking of using are:

* Kind of discussion (theoretical, practical/praxis)
* Subject (mind, action, unit of analysis...)
* Tone (explanatory, argumentative)
* Original or Recurrent Theme

Obviously, these are all subject to change, nor is it clear to me whether
this preliminary categorization makes sense. Any suggestions?

My appreciation,

Ivan Rosero

xmca mailing list

Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.
xmca mailing list

xmca mailing list

Received on Wed Jan 30 14:47 PST 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Feb 13 2008 - 12:33:27 PST