Text Mining and Social Media: When Quantitative Meets Qualitative and Software Meets People

Text mining has developed dramatically in its power to analyse and extract information from unstructured data. Its applications are motivated by a growing awareness that researchers need more powerful tools in order to cope with rapidly increasing amounts of information and keep abreast of developments within their fields. Using case studies from political communication, this chapter explores how text mining can provide qualitative social researchers with the analytical tools they need for extracting information from unstructured data.