Content analysis of fiction as a technique for studying attitudes in social relationships Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/4x51hm548

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  • The purpose of the study was to attempt to develop a methodological approach which would tap the contribution of the literary artist to the understanding of human behavior. It was assumed that a content analysis of the social attitudes expressed in fiction would yield data which was complimentary, if not supplementary, to that available through the more typical data sources presently available. An historical theory, developed by Taylor (1954) was utilized as a vehicle through which to test this methodological approach. On the basis of this theory, a category system was developed and an hypothesis formulated to test the notion expressed in Taylor's theory that a shift in social attitudes from patrism to matrism is presently underway in America; that is, that social attitudes can be seen to reflect the development of a generally permissive Zeitgeist, as opposed to a general authoritarianism, favoring the use of force and violence, power and authority. Reliability was established with a category system on a limited random sample of books drawn from the total population of best sellers from three periods in American history, 1850-1860, 1900-1910, and 1945-1955. The sample of twelve best sellers, upon which the hypothesis was tested, was randomly drawn from this list as well. The general empirical hypothesis was analyzed through the use of the Jonckheere test which is a test of an ordered alternative hypothesis that the populations are such that the means from the samples are in an expected order of increasing value. The statistical result obtained approached significance at the .05 level which was adequate to allow for the conclusion that the trend predicted by Taylor's theory exists. It was concluded from the results of this study that content analysis of fiction is effective in tapping attitudes of individuals in social relationships and, that content analysis of fiction is useful as a method for retrieving information about the existential and aesthetic components of human behavior. It was further concluded that since this specific component does not lend itself to research methods generally used by social scientists, content analysis of fiction, under conditions similar to those of this study, may enhance the range of data presently available in social science research.
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  • File scanned at 300 ppi using Capture Perfect 3.0 on a Canon DR-9050C in PDF format. CVista PdfCompressor 5.0 was used for pdf compression and textual OCR.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Katy Davis(kdscannerosu@gmail.com) on 2014-04-02T23:03:18Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 OwenLoisD1968.pdf: 839055 bytes, checksum: d8f6ce3b57186d5eab2d7fd9cce9201c (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2014-04-02T15:56:59Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 OwenLoisD1968.pdf: 839055 bytes, checksum: d8f6ce3b57186d5eab2d7fd9cce9201c (MD5)
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