This chapter demonstrates how to conduct a textual analysis. I employ textual analysis through a cultural critical lens and illustrate this method with an analysis of food reviews. First, the method is defined and central theoretical tenets are explained. Then I outline the methodological process of this qualitative method from searching for a topic, establishing a theoretical background, selecting data, and presenting evidence to building a line of argument. As an example, I analyze newspaper food reviews of ethnic restaurants. This analysis is embedded in three theoretical contexts: the role of media in creating national identity; the essentializing contradictions of authenticity and culture; and the problematic “us versus them” dichotomies of international journalism.
Textual analysis has become one of the more popular methodologies for cultural critical media scholars. While the method is employed under various names, what all approaches have in common is that the method concentrates on qualitative interpretations of cultural output. For media scholars, the main data for a textual analysis is media content such as newspaper or magazine articles, television shows, radio programs, Internet sites, or computer games. Textual analysis draws on qualitative interpretive research traditions and critical theory.
This chapter demonstrates how to conduct a textual analysis. I employ textual analysis ...