Discourse Lab and Digital Discourse Analysis
The virtual research and learning environment Discourse Lab, initiated by Prof Marcus Müller, is dedicated to Digital Discourse Analysis (DDA). It consists of two parts: Discourse Lab | tools and resources (this site) and Discourse Lab | blog. We conceive of “Digital Discourse Analysis” not only as the analysis of digital discourse but also as the analysis of discourse using computational aid. To this end, we provide users with
- Basic knowledge
- Software tools
- Resources (pre-built corpora)
- Tutorials on tools, resources, and project management
- Networking capabilities
- Collaboration capabilities
Digital Discourse Analysis: Examples
The following figure shows how the frequency of words assigned to one of the categories “environment”, “economy”, “politics”, or “technology” changes over time, enabling the analyst to make statements about the focus shift in the debate on climate change as represented in the corpus.
The figure shows that the topic “economy” is a constant companion within the debate while the presence of the other three varies over time. Especially everything to do with “environment” is mentioned less over the years with a drop in 2006, a slight rise from 2008, followed by a further drop to an all time low in 2009. “Technology” remains constant more or less until it reveives a boost culminating in 2011, the year of the energy transition in Germany and reaching its usual level within two years. “Politics”, however, is the one topic that gains constantly (apart from a bump 2009 to 2010). The data suggest not only that there is indeed a focus shift in the debate but also that it is no longer important to find out what is happening but how to handle it.