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    Visualizing Conflict: Situating Narratives in Their Sociohistorical Context

    by  • April 27, 2017 • 2016-2017 Provost Digital Innovation Grant Winners

    Project Name: Visualizing Conflict: Situating Narratives in Their Sociohistorical Context
    Grantees: Karyna Pryiomka & James Christopher Head
    Discipline: Critical Social/Personality Psychology
    Funding Cycle: 2016-2017

    The purpose of this project is twofold: to examine and map the narrative construction of news articles referencing Common Core from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal; and, methodologically, to bridge, both practically and theoretically, digital humanities and socioculturally oriented narrative analysis (Squire, 2013). In the past year, with the support of the Provost Digital Innovation grant 2015-2016, we have employed a dynamic narrative inquiry approach (Daiute, 2013) to examine the characters (political figures, stakeholders, organizations, etc.) that are evoked in discussions of Common Core in New York, focusing on their portrayal in the media and the values ascribed to them, implicitly or explicitly. Additionally, we used conceptual mapping to display the characters’ prominence, their relationship to one another, and the indexical features of their characterization for both publications. We have presented our work at annual meetings of the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology and the American Psychological Association. In the next stages of the project, we plan to use network analysis to build on our initial visualizations and portray more complex features of the narratives we are working with. We also plan to develop a Python or R based script aimed at reproducing parts of the manual narrative analysis and apply them to larger corpuses of text data. In taking this approach, we intend to move toward a new mixed-methods framework of media analysis and qualitative data visualization that will better inform psychological investigations rooted in sociocultural and sociopolitical episodes and events.