Yesterday’s work with text mining was both helpful and daunting. I know what I want to do with it–mine deeply into documents from both the liberal and conservative politicians I am studying and look for any themes that would not be apparent from the close reading of individual documents–but my biggest challenge is finding an overlap between the right documents and documents that can be turned into text files. I have figured out how to convert the Public Papers of the President into text files to load in Voyant but that will only get me so far and just one side of the equation. This requires more thought about sources and questions to ask of my topic. I’m intrigued with the possibilities but not sure how I will get there or what I will find. In a perfect world I will be able to discern how and when rhetoric about “liberalism,” “conservatism,” the “federal government,” the “welfare state,” and other ideologically contested terms and concepts shifted.
Source: Text Mining