Your texts consist of written material that you analyze for the case study (a play, web
blog, corporate and organizational web pages, etc.).
The texts should have sufficient length and complexity to allow you to analyze
the conflict in depth.
The texts should provide first-party accounts of conflict. This means that the
texts include statements by people who are directly involved in the conflict as
stakeholders (e.g., employees protesting the actions of their employer,
representatives of organizations involved in environmental disputes, political
figures involved in national or international conflicts, individuals expressing
conflict on the web, literary figures embroiled in conflict).
Good texts for analysis should reveal the perspectives of disputing parties about:
1) their own role in the conflict; 2) the role played by the other party or parties
to the dispute; 3) the relationship between the conflicting parties; and 3) how
they view the conflict as a whole – what the issues are and what the overall story
(history of events) looks like.
Look for texts that portray multiple sides to a dispute (e.g., what employees say
about a contentious policy vs. what the company says).
Start with a set of general “codes” (categories) that represent important basic
distinctions that you will use in your analysis.
For a frame analysis, use the frame categories from the Rogan reading – whole
story frames, identity/self-presentation frames, characterization frames, conflict
management frames, relationship frames, moral judgment frames. If some of
these categories are much more important than others in your texts, then
narrow it down (e.g., focus only on whole story frames, identity frames,
characterization frames, and relationship frames).
For a conflict assessment, your codes should reflect concepts that are the
central focus of the paper. For example, if you wish to analyze types and levels
of conflict, you might distinguish content, relationship, identity, and process
goals, using Wilmot and Hocker’s description of these terms.
Read through your texts and mark examples of your categories. For example, if a
particular statement suggests a whole story frame, underline the passage and write
“HS” (or another abbreviation) in the margin. If you doing a conflict assessment and one
of your codes is power assertion, mark “PA” next to any passage that you think reveals
something relevant to the code.
Also identify specific framing devices or themes that fall under more general categories.
For example, if you were analyzing employee complaints about Radio Shack for power
relations, you might write “RS is a bully” or “bully” next to example that suggests that
Radio Shack bullies its employees.
Look for framing devices/themes that represent a cluster of similar examples; for
example, several statements about the organization bullying its employees.
You can review and revise the framing devices/themes as you analyze more of
the text. For example, perhaps the “bully” theme noted above did not occur to
you initially but as you analyze the texts you begin to similar examples. At this
point, you can go back and remark any examples that suggest the “bully”
Once you have finished coding your texts, look for overall trends in the examples you
have identified and begin to summarize these trends.
Think about the implications suggested by your analysis: What is the overall
story of this conflict from the perspective of the different parties? How does the
perceived imbalance of power contribute to the conflict? What does your
analysis suggest about the depth of the conflict and potential for constructive
management? Note that these questions are just examples. There is no set of
stock questions you should address. Instead, talk about ideas and implications
that are important given the focus of your paper.