Content Analysis and Digital Data: Methodological Solutions between Tradition and Innovation. The Case of Digital Campaigns as Meeting Ground of Expertises and Research Perspectives

Maria Paola Faggiano, Raffaella Gallo

Abstract


In our Platform Society, Content Analysis represents a bridge between the past and the future: thanks to technological advancements, this technique can perform its typical functions more efficiently, but it can also penetrate new fields. The authors present the case of digital campaigns, by way of a strategy that enhances both the text-based material in a strict sense, and the entire multimedia system interrelated with the units under analysis. The research examples – selected from the analysis of Facebook posts published by the main Italian political forces during the digital campaign for the 2018 General Elections – have the purpose of explicating how specific methodological choices and investigation styles can be “reused” in other study contexts. This paper proposes the integrated use of CA as a survey, statistical textual analysis and qualitative CA, further to the idea that the combined application of these can limit the disadvantages connected to the exclusive use of specific instruments, increasing overall advantages. Finally, CA is presented as the springboard for other research initiatives: from the investigation of the points of view/the social profiles of the political actors associated with the posting activity, to the political message analysis in the other (on/offline) contexts in which it appears; from the analysis of communication strategies (interpreted on the basis of the media channels), to the study of social reactions-interactions the message generates.


Keywords


content analysis; digital campaigns; integrated analysis approach

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13136/isr.v11i4S.436

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