Two types of analysis ? Analyzing previously collected data: ? data from agency records (UCR, NIBRAS) ? data from other researchers (City & Community Services) ? Content Analysis: ? analyzing social artifacts (newspapers + videos) Data Sources ? Primary data sources: ? data collected first hand ? Secondary data sources: ? Data that has already been collected ? or Access data through the Freedom of Info. Act Advantages of Secondary Analysis ? cheap, fast ? benefit from work of skilled researchers ? typically no IRB Disadvantages of Secondary Analysis ? data might not be appropriate to your research question ? least useful for evaluation studies ? CANNOT make casual inferences Units of analysis in agency records ? be aware of match or mismatch between units of analysis ? you can go from individual to aggregate (group) ? but you cannot go from aggregate to individual ? ex: Miami Crime Stats to Florida Crime Stats Limitations of Agency Records ? Data have been gathered for agency purposes not research: ? record keeping is a social process, misinterpretation of codes, incomplete data ? Reliability and validity issues: ? changes in operational definitions of key terms over time ? changes in procedures over time ? data entry errors Content Analysis ? systematic study of messages ? a method for quantifying behavior must be defined How to do a Content Analysis ? Determine your research question ? Determine your (Universe, Units of Analysis, Sample) ? Determine your operational definitions (exhaustive, mutually exclusive) ? Determine your observers (blind to study purpose & check inter-rater reliability) Seven major elements that can be counted in content analysis 1. Words 2. Themes 3. Characters (persons) 4. Paragraphs 5. Items 6. Concepts 7. Semantics Triangulating Research Designs ? Using multiple methods to study one research question ? Researcher can get a clearer picture of the social reality being studied by viewing it from several different perspectives
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