Classification and the relations of meaning

Andreas Schneider, Alden E. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This paper intends to demonstrate the parallels between a qualitative methodology, component analysis, which is predominantly used in cognitive anthropology and linguistics, and the quantitative explorative method-cluster analysis. Social identities and their related structural categories serve as examples of the method. In the methodology and logic involved in the categorization of meaning, abstraction is the key difference between connotative and structural meaning. Abstraction and the identification of higher order categories in cluster analysis are compatible with the extraction of structural meaning from the semantic differential ratings of the affective meanings of identities. The dichotomy of exclusion and inclusion is the most relevant relation for the qualitative analysis of meaning and can be mathematically operationalized by Euclidean squared distance in k-means cluster analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-557
Number of pages11
JournalQuality and Quantity
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 2005


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