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Media and Communication Research Methods - International Student Edition
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Media and Communication Research Methods - International Student Edition
An Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches

Fifth Edition


January 2019 | SAGE Publications, Inc

This step-by-step introduction to conducting media and communication research offers practical insights along with the author’s signature lighthearted style to make discussion of qualitative and quantitative methods easy to comprehend. The Fifth Edition of Media and Communication Research Methods includes a new chapter on discourse analysis; expanded discussion of social media, including discussion of the ethics of Facebook experiments; and expanded coverage of the research process with new discussion of search strategies and best practices for analyzing research articles. Ideal for research students at both the graduate and undergraduate level, this proven book is clear, concise, and accompanied by just the right number of detailed examples, useful applications, and valuable exercises to help students to understand, and master, media and communication research. 

 


 
Preface to the Fifth Edition
 
Acknowledgements
 
Introduction
Round Up the Usual Suspects

 
Applying the Focal Points Model to Media

 
How I Became a Man without Quantities

 
Date Man versus Date-Free Man

 
Kinds of Questions Researchers Ask

 
Conclusions of a Man without Quantities, Who Is also a Practicing Theoretician

 
Introduction: Applications and Exercises

 
 
I. GETTING STARTED
 
1. What Is Research?
We All Do Research, All the Time

 
Scholarly Research Is Different From Everyday Research

 
Cultural Studies and Research

 
Nietzsche on Interpretation

 
Problem of Certainty

 
Diachronic and Synchronic Research

 
The Way the Human Mind Works

 
Overt and Covert Oppositions

 
Thinking Fast and Slow

 
Quantity and Quality in Media Research

 
Media and Communication

 
Why a Book That Teaches Both Methodologies?

 
Considering Research Topics

 
What Is Research? Applications and Exercises

 
Conclusions

 
Further Reading

 
 
2. The Research Process
Search Strategies

 
Sources of Information

 
How to Read Analytically

 
Critical Thinking

 
Critical Thinking as Defined by the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, 1987

 
Doing a Literature Review

 
Primary and Secondary Research Sources

 
Searching on the Internet (or “Find the Info if You Can!”)

 
Using the Internet to Conduct Research

 
Analyzing Methodology in Research Articles

 
The Research Process: Applications and Exercises

 
Conclusions

 
Further Reading

 
 
II. METHODS OF TEXTUAL ANALYSIS
 
3. Semiotic Analysis
Saussure’s Division of Signs into Signifiers and Signifieds

 
Semiotics of Blondeness

 
Semiotics and Society

 
Peirce’s Trichotomy: Icon, Index, And Symbol

 
Allied Concepts

 
Foucault on Codes and Cultural Change

 
Marcel Danesi on Codes and Culture

 
Clotaire Rapaille on Culture Codes

 
Semiotics in Society: A Reprise

 
Syntagmatic Analysis of Texts

 
Paradigmatic Analysis of Texts

 
Applications of Semiotic Theory

 
Paul Ekman on Facial Expression

 
Semiotics: Applications and Exercises

 
Conclusions

 
Further Reading

 
 
4. Rhetorical Analysis
Aristotle on Rhetoric

 
Rhetoric and the Mass Media

 
A Brief Note on the Communication Process

 
Certeau on Subversions by Readers and Viewers

 
Applied Rhetorical Analysis

 
A Miniglossary of Common Rhetorical Devices

 
Other Considerations When Making Rhetorical Analyses

 
A Sample Rhetorical Analysis: A La Mer Advertisement

 
Rhetorical Analysis of the Visual Image

 
Images in Narrative Texts

 
Gangsta Rap and American Popular Culture

 
Rhetorical Analysis: Applications and Exercises

 
Conclusions

 
Further Reading

 
 
5. Ideological Criticism
Mannheim’s Ideology and Utopia

 
Defining Ideology

 
Marxist Criticism

 
Roland Barthes on Mythologies

 
The Problem of Hegemony

 
The Base and the Superstructure, False Consciousness, and the “Self-Made Man and Woman”

 
Post-Soviet Marxist Criticism

 
Society of the Spectacle

 
Basic Ideas in Marxist Criticism

 
A Marxist Interpretation of the Fidji “Snake” Advertisement

 
John Berger on Glamour

 
Identity Politics

 
Feminist Criticism of Media and Communication

 
The Social Conception of Knowledge

 
Phallocentric Theory: The Physical Basis of Male Domination

 
Political Cultures, the Media, and Communication

 
Pop Cultural and Media Preferences of the Four Political Cultures

 
Marxist Perspectives on Social Media

 
A Preview of Critical Discourse Analysis

 
Ideological Criticism: Applications and Exercises

 
Conclusions

 
Further Reading

 
 
6. Psychoanalytic Criticism
Freud’s Contribution

 
Smartphones and the Psyche: Applying the Theories of Erik Erikson

 
Smartphones and the Self

 
Neuropsychoanalysis: Freud and Neuroscience

 
Jungian Theory

 
Psychoanalytic Criticism: Applications and Exercises

 
Conclusions

 
Further Reading

 
 
7. Discourse Analysis
Defining Discourse Analysis

 
Teun A. Van Dijk on Discourse Analysis

 
Spoken and Written Discourse

 
Styles and Written Discourse

 
Political Ideologies and Discourse Analysis

 
Critical Discourse Analysis

 
Advertising and Critical Discourse Analysis

 
Multimodal Discourse Analysis

 
Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis

 
Fashion and Discourse Analysis

 
A Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis of an Advertisement

 
Discourse Analysis: Applications and Exercises

 
Conclusions

 
Further Reading

 
 
III. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS
 
8. Interviews
The Prisoner Interviews Number Two

 
What Is an Interview?

 
Four Kinds of Research Interviews

 
Why We Use Interviews

 
How to Interview People

 
Kinds of Questions

 
Questions Investigative Reporters Ask

 
The Structure of Conversations and Interviews

 
Transcribing Recorded Interviews

 
Making Sense of Transcribed Interviews

 
Coding

 
Problems with Interview Material

 
Interviews: Applications and Exercises

 
Conclusions

 
Further Reading

 
 
9. Historical Analysis
What Is History?

 
History as Metadiscipline or Specialized Subject

 
Is History Objective, Subjective, Or A Combination Of The Two?

 
The Importance of Fernand Braudel

 
Kinds of Historical Research

 
The Problem of Writing History

 
The Problem of Meaning

 
Historical Periods

 
Baudrillard and Jameson on Postmodernism

 
Postmodernism and Historiography

 
The Historical and the Comparative Approach

 
History Is an Art, Not a Science

 
Doing Historical Research

 
Historical Analysis: Applications and Exercises

 
Conclusions

 
Further Reading

 
 
10. Ethnomethodological Research
Defining Ethnomethodology

 
Garfinkel’s Ingenious and Mischievous Research

 
Norbert Wiley’s Interesting Perspective on Harold Garfinkel

 
Using Ethnomethodology in Media and Communication Research

 
Metaphors and Motivation

 
Love Is a Game

 
Humorists as Code Violators

 
Techniques of Humor

 
Ethnomethodology and the Communication Process

 
Ethnomethodological Research: Applications and Exercises

 
Conclusions

 
Further Reading

 
 
11. Participant Observation
Defining Participant Observation

 
Significant Considerations When Doing Participant Observation

 
A Case Study of Participant Observation: Readers of Romance Novels

 
Problems with Participant Observation

 
Benefits of Participant Observation Studies

 
Making Sense of Your Findings

 
Writing up A Participant Observation Study

 
An Ethical Dilemma

 
Ethics and Research Involving Humans

 
Participant Observation: Applications and Exercises

 
Conclusions

 
Further Reading

 
 
IV. QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS
 
12. Content Analysis
Defining Content Analysis

 
Why We Make Content Analyses

 
Methodological Aspects of Content Analysis

 
Aspects of Violence

 
Advantages of Content Analysis as a Research Method

 
Difficulties in Making Content Analyses

 
Content Analysis Step-By-Step

 
Content Analysis: Applications and Exercises

 
A Cautionary Note from Denis McQuail

 
Conclusions

 
Further Reading

 
 
13. Surveys
Defining Surveys

 
Kinds of Surveys: Descriptive and Analytic

 
The VALS Typology Survey

 
Methods of Data Collection

 
Advantages of Survey Research

 
Problems with Surveys

 
Surveys and the 2012 Presidential Election

 
Surveys and the 2016 Presidential Election

 
A Note on Media Usage Surveys: Shares and Ratings

 
Open-Ended and Closed-Ended Survey Questions

 
Writing Survey Questions

 
Making Pilot Studies to Pretest Surveys

 
Conducting Online Surveys

 
Samples

 
Obtaining Random Samples

 
Evaluating Survey Accuracy

 
Surveys: Applications and Exercises

 
Conclusions

 
Further Reading

 
 
14. Experiments
Everyday Experimentation

 
Defining Experiments

 
The Structure of an Experiment

 
The Hawthorne Effect

 
Advantages of Experiments

 
Disadvantages of Experiments

 
The “Black Rats” Case and Experimental Fraud

 
A Checklist on Experimental Design

 
What’s An Experiment and What Isn’t?

 
Ethics and the Facebook Experiment

 
Experiments: Applications and Exercises

 
Conclusions

 
 
Further Reading
15. A Primer on Descriptive Statistics

 
Levels of Measurement

 
Descriptive Statistics

 
Measures of Central Tendency

 
Measures of Dispersion

 
The Normal or Bell-Shaped Curve

 
The Problem with Ratings

 
A Cautionary Note on Statistics

 
Using Statistics to Support a Claim

 
Statistics and Comparisons

 
Data on Media Use in America

 
Smartphones

 
The Problem of Interpretation

 
Statistics and Problems Caused by Definitions

 
Statistics: Applications and Exercises

 
Conclusions

 
Further Reading

 
 
V. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
 
16. Nineteen Common Thinking Errors
Common Fallacies

 
Conclusions

 
Further Reading

 
 
17. Writing Research Reports
Keeping a Journal

 
A Trick for Organizing Reports

 
Outlines, First Drafts, and Revisions

 
Writing Research Reports

 
The IMRD Structure of Quantitative Research Reports

 
Writing Correctly: Avoiding Some Common Problems

 
Academic Writing Styles

 
A Checklist for Planning Research and Writing Reports

 
Conclusions

 
Further Reading

 
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Author Index
 
Subject Index
 
About the Author
Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • A new chapter on discourse analysis (Chapter 7) defines discourse analysis and offers multiples examples for its application.
  • Expanded coverage of the research process offers students new search strategies and best practices for analyzing research articles. 
  • A new discussion of binary oppositions and culture helps students to better understand semiotics.
  • An expanded discussion of social media keeps students engaged with different perspectives of social media, including discussion of the ethics of Facebook experiments.
  • A new discussion of Gangsta Rap encourages students to rhetorically analyze American popular culture.
  • A new discussion of Foucault codes and cultural change helps students better understand the methods of textual analysis.
  • Several new topics connect key concepts to current events, such as William Dutton on the Cambridge Analytica scandal and an Iranian scholar on mistakes made by pollsters for the 2016 election.
  • New insights from experts in the field feature personal correspondence on the personality of the ethnomethodologist Harold Garfinkel and by a psychiatrist on addiction and the relationship between young people and their cell phones.
KEY FEATURES: 
  • Comprehensiveness: From opening discussions on the nature of research to thorough treatment of the methods of textual analysis, qualitative and quantitative methods, and writing up research, breadth of coverage is the hallmark of this text.
  • Humor: Chapter-opening conversations with the author’s “Grand Inquisitor” (who poses questions about the nature of research), numerous cartoons, and references to student life use lively humor to make the material approachable and accessible.
  • Applications and exercises: In each methods chapter, applications and exercises allow students to practice and apply what they’ve learned.

·   PART IIChapter-By-Chapter Changes

 

Authors and editors are asked to delineate detailed changes to a revision on a chapter-by-chapter basis. We recommend that you maintain a record of changes over the entire revision process. This report will be kept on file at SAGE in compliance with the legal standards required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Please utilize the form below to report chapter-by-chapter changes.

 

 

I.    Overall Book Changes

Please include all additions, deletions, and updates.

 

Table of Contents: (e.g. Reorganization of chapters, chapter deletions, additions, splitting, or combining)

 

 

Additions to Table of Contents

 

Daniel Chandler on Binary Oppositions

William Dutton on the Cambridge Analytica Fiasco

Selected authors on Critical  Thinking

Michel Foucault on Codes and Cultural Change

             Marcel Danesi on Codes and Culture

             Guy Debord on Society of the Spectacle

             Addiction to Cell Phones

             Fashion and Discourse Analysis

             Kinds of Questions

             The Importance of Fernand Braudel

             Norbert Wiley on Harold Garfinkel

             A Cautionary Note by Denis McQuail

             Surveys and the 2016 Presidential Election

             Using Statistics to Support a Claim

             Statistical Problems Caused by Definition

 

Pedagogy and Feature Sets:

 

·         Introductory Chapter Pedagogy

Additions to Focus Questions in some chapters

 

·         End-of-Chapter Pedagogy

Click here to enter textAdditions in  some chapters to End-of-Chapter Pedagogy

 

 

·         Chapter Features

New illustrations, new textual material as listed above

 

 

·         Questionnaires/Worksheets

·         No new Questionnaires or Worksheets

No new Questionnaires of Worksheets

 

·         Glossary

Additions made to Glossary

.

 

·         Table/Figures, and/or Other Art

Updated Tables and new images drawn by author

 

 

 

References:

New references at the end of chapters based on new material added.

 

 

Overall Manuscript Length:

Around 100,000 words

 

 

 

II. Chapter-Specific Changes

Please list changes to each element, including textual revision, tables, maps, charts, figures, data, readings, etc., as applicable.

 

Preface:

 

New textual material in preface

 

 

Foreword:

 

N/A  No Foreword

 

 

Introduction:

 

New quotation on cultural studies added

 

 

Chapter 1:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

Summary of Changes:

Added new material on binary thinking from Daniel Chandler book on semiotics

Revised image on horizontal/vertical axes

Added to Research Topics

 

 

Chapter 2:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes:

New section on Critical Thinking

New material on using Google Search

Added new quotation on Research

New material on Using Internet to Conduct Research

New Boxed Insert on Cambridge Analytica Fiasco by William Dutton

Additions to Further Reading

 

 

 

Chapter 3:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

Summary of Changes:

New material by Michel Foucault on Codes and Cultural Change

New material by Marcel Danesi on Codes and Culture

New quote by Juri Lotman

Adds to Further Reading

 

 

Chapter 4:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes

New material on Visual Rhetoric

Added to list of Rhetorical Devices

New section on Gangsta Rap Music and Race in USA

Addition to Further Reading

 

 

 

Chapter 5:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes:

New quotation by Engels

Addition to Focus Questions

New material on Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle

Updated chart on Political Cultures and Popular Culture

Additions to Further Reading

 

 

 

Chapter 6:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes:

New discussion of Cell Phones and Addiction

Addition to discussion of the Unconscious

Addition to list of Defense Mechanisms

New Focus Question

Addition to Bond and the Oedipus Complex

Changes in chart on Id, Ego and Superego

 

 

 

Chapter 7:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes:

New quotation on Critical Discourse Analysis

New section on Fashion and Discourse Analysis

New advertisement reproduced for Critical Discourse Analysis

New question in Applications and Exercises

Addition to Further Reading

 

 

 

Chapter 8:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes:

New quotation by Bakhtin on Conversation

New discussion of Kinds of Questions

New material on Apps for Transcribing Recorded Interviews

Addition to Further Reading

 

 

Click here to enter text

 

 

Chapter 9:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes:

New material on Fernand Braudel’s Annales School of Historiography

New material on Generations

New drawing of Fernand Braudel

Addition to Further Reading

 

 

 

Chapter 10:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes:

New Quotation on Importance of Harold Garfinkel

New material by Norbert Wiley on Garfinkel’s Research

New material on Ethnographic Research and Communication Process

Addition to References

 

 

 

 

Chapter 11:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes:

Added another definition of participant observation

Added new drawing

Added new quotation on observational research

Added new citations to Further Reading

 

 

 

Chapter 12:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes:

Added new image of Leo Lowenthal

Added new definition of content analysis

Added new material from Chaim Eyal on content analysis

Added  “cautionary note” from Denis McQail on analyzing media content

New material in Further Reading

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 13:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes:

Boxed Insert on Surveys and 2016 Presidential Election

Addition to Focus Questions

Addition to Further Reading

 

 

Chapter 14:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes:

New material from book on Media Research Methods

New extended discussion of Media Sex and Violence

New Citation in Further Reading

 

Chapter 15:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes:

New drawing of Comte

Addition to Focus Questions

New Extended Discussion of Using Statistics to Support a Claim

New Chart on Media Use in USA 2012-1017

New discussion of Statistics and Problems Caused by Definitions

New Citation in Further Reading

 

 

 

Chapter 16:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes:

No changes

 

 

Chapter 17:

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?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes:

No changes

 

 

Chapter 18:

Please check all that apply

 

?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes:

Additions to Glossary

 

 

Chapter 19:

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?Major Changes ?Minor Changes                ?Changed Tables/Figures                  

?Changes Data &Statistics    ?Changed References/Citation

 

Summary of Changes:

Additions to Glossary

 

 

Chapter 20:

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Summary of Changes:

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