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Vol. 38 (2011) No. 1 P 1-12




This paper investigates whether there is significant association between the content of newspaper articles and social consciousness trends in contemporary Japan, where it is already known that the influence of television and the Internet is pervasive. We examine whether it is possible to explore social consciousness by analyzing the content of newspapers. The data obtained are responses to open-ended questions in a nationwide survey —“JIS2004”— and articles in three newspapers:“Asahi,” “Yomiuri,” and “Mainichi.” The quantitative content analysis indicated a significant association between newspaper content and responses to the open-ended questions. However, this association could not be found in certain abstract themes. Thus, we argue that a content analysis of newspapers can be utilized as a research method for exploring social consciousness, although the focus should remain on concrete themes. The author also presents hypotheses about causal relationships between newspaper content and social consciousness.

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