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date: 16 October 2018

Summary and Keywords

Intergroup communication, given its interdisciplinary roots in communication and social psychology, has been eclectic in methodology. Earlier approaches tended to be quantitative and experimental. In the early 21st century, the full range of qualitative approaches—thematic analysis and grounded theory, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, and others—have come to prominence. A key issue has been how to reconcile the broad-brush aspects of surveys, tightly-controlled contexts in experiments, and very limited numbers of participants in qualitative research.

In the past decade or so, rapid improvements to the capabilities of computational technologies have brought forth a new generation of computational methods for communication research. Broadly known as visual text analytics, these methods provide communication scholars new ways to model, visualize, and analyze intergroup communication processes. They also allow larger scale in the detailed analysis of texts and discourse.

In spite of their great interest to intergroup communication, these new visual text analytic methods also present challenges. In presenting several newer visual text analytic methods, we articulate some ways to approach the tools to achieve maximum research benefit.

Keywords: research methods, new technologies, computational, quantitative methods, qualitative methods, LIWC, Leximancer, Discursis, intergroup communication

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