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Chapter Five 1999 Post-Elections Period - Leicester Research ...

Chapter Five 1999 Post-Elections Period - Leicester Research ...

85 In previous research,

85 In previous research, frames have typically been determined through content analysis conducted by researchers who manually code text for specific frames. For example, content was manually coded to find the frames in news coverage about the launch of the common European currency, the euro (de Vreese, Peter & Semetko, 2001), about gun ownership (Downs, 2002), about the Million Man March protest (Watkins, 2001), and about the war on terrorism in Afghanistan (Ryan, 2004), among many other studies. In other research, computer assisted hierarchical cluster analysis has been utilized to determine frames (Andsager & Powers, 1999; Cowart, 2003; Koella, 2001; Lind & Salo, 2002; Miller, Andsager, & Riechert, 1998; Riechert, 1996). This thesis proceeds from the theoretical perspective that suggests that political communication can be commonly understood through frames. Such frames simplify, prioritize and structure the narrative flow of events (Goffman, 1974; Entman, 1991; Gamson, 1975). By using the four frame components identified by Entman (2004) which are Problem Definition, Causal Interpretation, Moral Evaluation and Treatment Recommendation, the research has a guide that both drives the coding process and relatively prevents the pitfall of arbitrary allocation of codes to paragraphs. Further, the researcher felt confident in taking this way of analysis for frames because it has been proved as a reliable way of measuring frames. Several studies have used the four frame components for identifying frames in textual data (Nickels, 2007; van Gorp, 2001; and Roggeband and Vliegenthart, 2008) as noted above. 3.6.2 Qualitative Study The study is a qualitative study of textual data. While the main benefits that come with this method have been discussed in the preceding sessions, there are some traditional criticisms against this method which may legitimately be levelled against this study.

86 These include the issue of objectivity. In this respect, the researcher clearly understood his position as the primary “measuring instrument” (Gall, Borg and Gall 1996, p. 554) and how that could affect the outcome of the study. In this regard, Strauss and Corbin (1990) stress the importance of theoretical sensitivity. Theoretical sensitivity refers to the personal quality of the researcher in being able to see “subtleties of meaning of data” and the “ability to give meaning to data” (Strauss and Corbin 1990, pp. 41-42; pp. 76-95). The ability referred to may come from the researcher‟s professional experience and knowledge. It can also come from the analytical process of “collecting and asking questions about the data, making comparisons, thinking about what you see, making hypotheses, developing small theoretical frameworks (mini-frameworks) about concepts and their relationships” (Strauss and Corbin 1990, p. 43). As advised, the researcher in this study has periodically stepped back, asked questions of the data, maintained an attitude of scepticism, and followed the research procedure closely to ensure an objective outcome (Strauss and Corbin 1990). Where political-historical accuracy was demanded, the researcher drew on credible publications. 3.6.3 CAQDAS Another challenge to the study includes the use of CAQDAS. In a way, this challenge is linked to the above concern regarding the researcher and theoretical sensitive. Some scholars such as Kelle (2004) have argued that CAQDAS tends to alienate the researcher from the data. While this may be true, the use of CAQDAS in this research study was predicated on one major reason – the voluminous amount of data in this study.

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