I want to do a short analysis of a sub-corpora of 90,000 words taken from a corpus of Facebook postings made by supports of the far-right English Defence League (EDL) using a corpus visualisation tool, GraphColl, developed at Lancaster University, UK.
As the EDL focus on Muslims and Islam, I thought that looking at the word Muslim would be a good start. I’m interested in looking at the collocates of Muslims and begin by looking at the collocates with an MI score of 3 or above.
Although this is a very interesting visualisation, there may be too many collocates to look at at once, and so by raising the MI score to 4 and above may be beneficial.
And so the picture becomes clearer. Many of the collocates appear to focus on radical forms of Islam with collocates such as extremists, extreme, terrorists and radical. Other are related to violence: rape, kill and hate.
This picture can be expanded by looking at how the collocate white interacts with the other collocates.
Therefore, not only can the discourses of extremism be seen, but also discourses of race are present. Collocates of white include words such as girls, pretty and cock, which may indicate a discourse of sexuality.
It is interesting that along with discourses of radicalization found within the posts of EDL supporters, there are also discourses which appear to indicate a patriarchal element as the writers appear to be discussing ‘our white girls’.
This can then be studied further by looking at KWIC.
Thus, in this very brief analysis, I hope I have been able to demonstrate the usefulness of visualizations in data analysis.