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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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12

Using a Mixed Approach to Content Analysis

The Case of Apologetic Rhetoric in the Modern Presidency

Rico Neumann and Kevin Coe

ABSTRACT

This chapter demonstrates the process and utility of an approach to content analysis that blends computer-assisted content analysis (CCA) with traditional manual coding. It does so in the context of modern presidential rhetoric, shedding light on presidents' use of apologetic rhetoric in their public communications to audiences abroad over the past eight decades. We outline the steps that are necessary to undertake a mixed approach to content analysis, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of such a method. We argue that although CCA represents a useful tool to process large quantities of text, its use can sometimes obscure important nuances in the discourse. Conducting a complementary manual coding can highlight many of these nuances, making the mixed approach a fruitful technique in many cases.

Within a few months of taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama traveled abroad to announce his presidency to the world and to begin rebuilding some of the relationships that his predecessor's administration had strained. On April 3, for example, he was in Strasbourg, France, where he critically referred to earlier times when “America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”1 The following day, Obama was asked about America's place in the world, to which he responded:

The fact that I am very proud of my country and I think ...

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