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Lecture - Professor Roberto Franzosi (Emory University): Quantitative Narrative Analysis (QNA)

Starts: 3 May 2012

Thursday 3rd May 2012, 4:00pm  in Council Chamber (Glamorgan Building)

The Cardiff School of Social Sciences present

Speaker: Professor Roberto Franzosi (Emory University)

Quantitative Narrative Analysis (QNA)

This event is free, but please reserve a place by e-mailing

The talk will illustrate Quantitative Narrative Analysis (QNA), a methodological approach to texts that allows researchers to structure the information contained in narrative texts in ways that make possible a statistical analysis of the information. The approach exploits the invariant linguistic structural properties of narrative (namely, the chronological sequential order of narrative clauses and their simple linguistic structure SVO, or Subject-Verb-Object. In narrative, Subjects are typically social actors, Verbs are social actions, and Objects are either social actors or physical objects. Each SVO element can also have attributes (e.g., time and space of action). The SVO and their attributes provide an invariant structure of narrative also known as “story grammar” (basically, the 5 W’s and H of journalism: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How). The talk will highlight the power of QNA using data from two datasets: on the rise of Italian fascism (1919-1922) (50,000 newspaper articles for some 200,000 clauses) and on lynchings in Georgia (1875-1930) (1,300 articles coded for some 8,000 clauses).

Roberto Franzosi is professor of Sociology and Linguistics at Emory University. Franzosi’s main interests have been in social protest (e.g., The Puzzle of Strikes, Cambridge University Press, 1994). He has had a long-standing interest in issues of language and measurement of text and narrative, with several articles published and three books From Words to Number (Cambridge University Press, 2005), Content Analysis (Sage, 2008), and Quantitative Narrative Analysis (Sage, 2010). He is currently working on two historical projects – the rise of Italian fascism (1919-22) and lynchings in Georgia (1875-1930) – and on the completion of the book Trilogy of Rhetoric, on the rhetorical roots of three social science approaches to text: content analysis, frame analysis, quantitative narrative analysis.


Professor Roberto Franzosi (Emory University): Quantitative Narrative Analysis (QNA)


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Open To: Staff and Students