Quantitative content analysis - a research method which seeks to classify and quantify the content of a document.
- it can effectively measure simple straigtforward aspects of content
- it is easy to obtain and to make comparisons
- it's reliable
- however, researchers' interpretations might be biased or they might not agree with the content
- further explanation and interpretation of the data is needed
Qualitative content analysis looks for themes and meanings in media and documents. Interpretivists prefer this method because it uncovers hidden meanings.
- it's valid
- however, because of different interpretations of the data, it's unreliable
John Scott (1990) says that sociologists should be very careful when analysing secondary data:
- the data might be fake
- the data might be not creditable - the researcher is lying
- the data might not be representative
- the data might be too old-fashioned and thus lots of old-fashioned meanings might affect the understanding of the content