Carley, K. 1994. “Extracting Culture through Textual Analysis.”

Carley, Kathleen. 1994. “Extracting Culture through Textual Analysis.” Poetics 22: 291 – 312.

Language as window to mind, window to culture. Analyzing texts can lend insight into cognition and culture. Focuses on the primacy of individual cognition as representative and patterning of culture. Content analysis as primary means of textual analysis in culture, but argues that map analysis is much more theoretically grounded. Frequent modes of textual analysis in social sciences include word counts associated with a construct. Substitutes map analysis as a means to focus on construct concepts, interrelationships, frequencies of these ideas/relations).

“When map analysis is used the researcher simply counts whether, for each possible pair of concepts of interest, the pair of concepts form a statement if they are part of a semantic unit… [where] within a statement there is a ‘link’ between the two concepts” (293). Link can be directed (link casually), signed (denoting negation or equality of concepts: A=B, A is not B), have strength (degree of emphasis). MA ends with two results – text matrix and concept by text matrix. MA seeks statements, in addition to concepts. “Social knowledge is common but not necessarily uniformly shared” (295). In MA, social knowledge is set of concepts/statements that occur in 50%+ of texts analyzed. Cultural diversity as number of concepts/statements included in texts. MA can incorporate cultural density – interconnectedness of statements to concepts.


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