van Zoonen mentions the method of content analysis slightly differently. Although this method is affective in certain situation, van Zoonen argues that feminists shy away from content analysis because it simply proves a point that has already been made and it assumes that the statistics alone will produce some meaning for the numbers. For example, all that a content analysis would reveal in a feminist study is that there is a discrepancy between men and women in positive roles on television, which we already know. The problem is that this style of study doesn't give any depth to the argument, just a statement that is pretty obvious to the target audience. I agree with these statements because I have some experience with the use of content analysis and have noticed the problem with basing an argument primarily on statistics. I feel that to make a positive argument for a woman's movement, one must give some reasoning for the oppression in order to make strives toward fixing the problem.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Critique of Content Analysis
The section from Gill discusses the positive aspects of using content analysis. A major point within this piece is the idea that this method produces quantitative results that can give a definite answer to a problem or question regarding media outlets. From this style of research, we obtain statistics that can be used as a persuasive method for media headquarters. For example, Gill writes "Why do women constitute 30 percent of the people on television when they make up 52 percent of the population?" (Gill p. 44). Americans seem to be more persuaded by definite statistics and numbers which is what makes this so effective.