[Air-L] Quantifying Political Alignment

Barbara Clark javafox1 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 22 08:13:28 PST 2010

Hi Michael,

The work of linguists who work within the theoretical and methodological framework of Critical Discourse Analysis might be of some use to you. A starting point:

Fairclough, Norman (2001) Language and Power (Second Edition). ed.Candlin, Christopher N., Second Edition edn., Language in Social Life Series, Harlow: Longman.
Fairclough, Norman (1995) Critical Discourse Analysis: The Critical Study of Language. ed.Candlin, Christopher N., Language in Social Life Series, Harlow: Pearson.
Wodak, Ruth and Michael Meyer (eds.) (2009) Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis (Second Edition). London: Sage. 


Barbara Clark, PhD student
School of Languages, Linguistics and Film
Queen Mary, University of London
Mile End Road
London E1 4NS
United Kingdom

b.l.clark at qmul.ac.uk

mobile: (07912) 690075

On 22 Nov 2010, at 15:36, Michael Conover wrote:

> Our research group (made up of physicists and computer scientists) needs to
> evaluate the political content of short pieces of text.  To this end we've
> constructed a rubric for classification, ranging from strong left, lean
> left, and neutral, to lean right, strong right, and unclassifiable.  While
> the criteria of the rubric are rather clear cut (a 'strong' classified
> sentence would contain attacks on a person or group's character, hyperbolic
> language, or intense / fanatical expressions of support for an issue), we
> all suspect that this is a solved problem.
> I've heard this referred to by political scientists as 'coding' text, and it
> definitely falls within the domain of qualitative content analysis, but I'm
> yet to find anything specifically on evaluating political text.  This in
> mind, can anyone point me towards an established metric for evaluating the
> political content of bodies of text?
> Thanks kindly,
> Michael Conover
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