Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"Ingunde Fühlau"

Titel: Inhaltsanalyse versus Linguistik
Autor: Ingunde Fühlau
Seite: 23-47

Abstract: Up to now no cooperation between linguists and content analysts has been achieved, although both disciplines have to cope with mostly the same problems related to language and communication. The article argues that this state of unrelated work is due to the fact that content analysis as a thoroughly American method was confronted with the linguistic school of "American Structuralism". The prime concern of this linguistic school and in particular its first two phases - Behaviorism and Distributionalism - was to establish scientific methods for linguistics. In the course of the development of American linguistics this led to a total exclusion of meaning or content from the field of linguistic analysis. The aims of linguistics and content analysis thus came to oppose each other. With the rise of transformational grammar meaning was reintegrated into linguistic work, thereby weakening the scientific claim. However since the beginning of the sixties content analysis has transformed into computer analysis, causing new problems to arise. Computerized content analysis is more than ever in need of a scientific theory of meaning - which, as linguistic endeavours have shown, is simply unfeasible. In order to promote a cooperation between linguists and content analysts a reformulation of the epistemologic basis for analyzing contents is inevitable.

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