Content analysis, in general, is a method for the sociological investigation of documents, whether in verbal, alphabetic, or iconic form. It may focus exclusively on quality or combine elements of both quality and quantity. In the former case, the researcher interprets and describes the meaning of the document, without translating her observations into numerical entities. In the latter case, the researcher uses an approach that allows the discovery of the document's meaning by dismantling it into a series of categories and information units. Then, based on coding rules, one makes inferences based on the statistical recurrence of these elements and their reciprocal relations.

Scholars use the qualitative method, traditional in historical sciences but also in sociology, for instance, for private documents such as letters, diaries, or ...

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