How to Conduct Content Analysis: Analyzing T-Shirt Slogans From the Era of US Celebrity Trials, Normalized Homelessness, and Economic Austerity


This case study is designed to teach content analysis of list-type data. The data consists of 114 t-shirt slogans that students in first author Sonja Peterson-Lewis’s Introduction to Research Methods class at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (United States) collected in Fall 1994 by visiting a convenience sample of 12 street vendors in two major northeastern US cities—Philadelphia and New York City. We utilize the t-shirt slogans to demonstrate and discuss (1) the steps necessary for conducting content analysis, (2) traps one must avoid when sorting data into thematic categories, and (3) how to quantify and display qualitative data most effectively. This case provides the raw data file in the Appendix.

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