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Battle of Agendas - Issue Faming and Language Use

Kapitel i bok
Författare Stefan Dahlberg
Publicerad i From Text to Political Positions: State-of-the-art approaches to estimating party positions
Förlag Vrije Universiteit
Förlagsort Amsterdam
Publiceringsår 2010
Publicerad vid Statsvetenskapliga institutionen
Språk en
Ämnesord Issue framing, Language use, Word space, Random Indexing, Political parties, blogs
Ämneskategorier Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier)

Sammanfattning

Issue framing has become one of the most important means of elite influence on public opinion. In this paper, we introduce a method for investigating issue framing based on statistic analysis of large samples of language use. Our method uses a technique called Random Indexing (RI), which enables us to extract semantic and associative relations to any target concept of interest, based on co-occurrence statistics collected from large samples of relevant language use. If "X" and "Y" both occur together with "Z", our method will relate "X" and "Y"; similarly if “X” is spoken about in terms of “Z”, our method will associate “X” to “Z”. We suggest that such semantic and associative relations are indicative – if not constitutive – of framing, and that this type of quantitative analysis therefore is an attractive method for investigating issue framing. As a first test of our proposed method, we have applied RI to a large collection of Swedish blog data from the period 2008 to 2010, and extracted semantic relations to a target concept referring to the notion ‘outsiders’. In the public debate, the concept is often used in relation to labour market issues but also to socially related issues. The analysis starts with a qualitative approach where we have been tracking the language use for the concept of ‘outsiders’ among the two dominant and opposing parties in Swedish politics. The results from this part of the study are then used as a benchmark for a deepening understanding of the framing of the issue in the blogosphere.

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