Quality & Quantity

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 1675–1694 | Cite as

Semantic mapping of discourse and activity, using Habermas’s theory of communicative action to analyze process

  • Fionn MurtaghEmail author
  • Monica Pianosi
  • Richard Bull


Our primary objective is evaluation of quality of process. This is addressed through semantic mapping of process. We note how this is complementary to the primacy of output results or products. We use goal-oriented discourse as a case study. We draw benefit from how social and political theorist, Jürgen Habermas, uses what was termed “communicative action”. An orientation in Habermas’s work, that we use, is analysis of communication or discourse. For this, we take Twitter social media. In our case study, we map the discourse semantically, using the correspondence analysis platform for such latent semantic analysis. This permits qualitative and quantitative analytics. Our case study is a set of eight carefully planned Twitter campaigns relating to environmental issues. The aim of these campaigns was to increase environmental awareness and behaviour. Each campaign was launched by an initiating tweet. Using the data gathered in these Twitter campaigns, we sought to map them, and hence to track the flow of the Twitter discourse. This mapping was achieved through semantic embedding. The semantic distance between an initiating act and the aggregate semantic outcome is used as a measure of process effectiveness.


Correspondence analysis Semantics Multivariate data analysis Text analysis Visualization Social media 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ComputingGoldsmiths University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Computing and MathematicsUniversity of DerbyDerbyUK
  3. 3.Institute of Energy & Sustainable DevelopmentDe Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK

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