It is the vital tools of analysis of qualitative data focusing on the certain words, themes and concepts of the expression of respondents in data set. Research focuses on quantifying and analyzing the meaning of certain words expressed by respondents and trying to build the interrelationship between them. Using contain analysis research inference about meaning of certain words which is obtained from description by connecting the meaning of certain words, texts or even from opinions about certain phenomena.
If a researcher conducts the research starting the general question then s/he must start open ended questions. In-depth interview, open ended questions, field research notes and so on for data collection. After collecting the qualitative data of long description researchers code the text and categories the code according to similarities. Researchers must carefully categorize the code because there is no hard and fast rule for categorization and coding. After that summary is developed for drawing conclusions.
According to Holsti (1968) content analysis is “any techniques for making inference by systematically and objectively identifying special characteristics of message.” The definition focuses on identifying the features of massage focusing systematically. Kerlinger (1986) defined content analysis as a method of studying and analyzing communication in a systematic, objective, and quantitative manner for the purpose of measuring variables. This definition also focuses on analysis of communication for developing meaning and for quantitative analysis for future.
Berelson (1952) suggests that content analysis is “objective, systematic, and quantitative”. Objectivity focuses on obtaining the same result from research is conducted by different researchers. Systematic focus on By eradicating the chances of incorporating the only material supporting the researcher’s idea, the exclusion and inclusion of the content are guided by strongly reliable rules and quantitative focus on possibility of measure in quantitative term where concept is tested and verified from large pool of sample.
In qualitative research there are two types of content analysis. They are:
Conceptual Analysis: Under the conceptual analysis what the respondents try to describe is coded which may be concepts, themes or words and researcher develop the inference from code by analysis the patterns that emerge.
Relational Analysis: It is developed on the top of conceptual analysis by observing, analyzing and drawing the relationship between concepts and themes that are drawn from data. It is mostly used due to flexibility in nature but flexibility also creates problems for use of relational analysis.
Process of Content Analysis
Following are the main process of content analysis:
Obtaining and translating data: Researcher at first obtain the data (communication of people) which are in descriptive forms. After data is obtained, researchers translate it into written form.
Coding the data: after translating the data researcher code them and reduce the data into smaller units. Code help for classification of data and development of themes.
Themes and classification: Researcher carefully analyze the code for development of themes. There is no hard and fast rule for theme and code. Thus, research must review the code again and again. It will help in gaining clear ideas for classifying the codes and develop the themes.
Inference themes: research inference from them and develop clear relation about codes and themes.