Man's communication has always consisted of a series of messages. Messages of all types - as the crucial links in communication chains - can span time and distance, evolving through certain patterns that record and evoke significance between individuals.
Analyzing these messages to discover their inferred as well as stated content has become a research field with wide applicability. Content analysis is being undertaken currently not only by workers in communication research, but also by those working to understand symbolic output in art, music, literature, history, psychiatry, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and the mass media.
This book was compiled to provide a comprehensive account of the present state of content analysis, and to show its significance as a developing discipline. The individual authors in the book have written their papers with two types of readers in mind: content analysis researchers, and scholars in other fields who wish to assess the applicability of content analysis to their discipline.
The work for this book actually began at the Allerton House Conference on trends in content analysis, held at the University of Illinois in 1955. In the ten years following that conference, many major developments took place in the filed of linguistics, new insight was gained into the relation between language and thought, new models of the cognitive processes were developed, and computer technology made rapid strides.
From these advancements, new theories relevant to content analysis were produced. To cope with these changes, and to organize them into a coherent whole, the editors of this volume met at the Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania, in 1966. Their goal was to commission papers reflecting recent progress in content analysis and pointing to the next steps to be taken. The contributions they gathered came from a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, all related to the basic framework of content analysis.
The papers in this book are those commissioned for and written by the editors themselves. They were presented at a national conference on content analysis at the Annenberg School in 1967. Before publication in their present form, they were revised and updated by their authors to include pertinent items brought up during the conference discussions. Various portions of the discussions themselves have also been included in the book to provide a more thorough coverage. In addition, the editions have elicited other contributions intended to fill some of the gaps between areas, and to provide as comprehensive a picture of the field as possible.