Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-ndmmz Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-30T10:34:20.872Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Chapter 8 - The Distinctiveness of Certain Eras

from Part II - The Hidden Dimensions of Temporal Experience

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 September 2023

Jo Guldi
Affiliation:
Southern Methodist University, Texas
Get access

Summary

This chapter explores how historians distinguish those characteristics distinctive to a given historical era and how quantitative historians investigate the uniqueness of particular periods. Traditionally, historians have reckoned these thematic changes through comprehensive reading about and around adjacent periods. This chapter introduces tf-idf, an algorithm familiar to library science, and shows how tf-idf can be used to index the most distinctive qualities of temporal periods of different scale. In a case study on Hansard’s parliamentary debates, an algorithm for highlighting the distinctive qualities of each era was applied to different timescales ranging from the day to the two-decade period. The results of this algorithmic process show how text mining can highlight how class differentials of access to power played out in terms of parliamentary attention, with the concerns of working-class people and colonized subjects receiving only a fraction of the time allotted to elite concerns over the entire century. It performs this analysis on the names of geographies and ethnicities that formed part of British Empire, demonstrating the greater attention given white subjects than colonized people who were also persons of color.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Dangerous Art of Text Mining
A Methodology for Digital History
, pp. 229 - 271
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • The Distinctiveness of Certain Eras
  • Jo Guldi, Southern Methodist University, Texas
  • Book: The Dangerous Art of Text Mining
  • Online publication: 21 September 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009263016.012
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • The Distinctiveness of Certain Eras
  • Jo Guldi, Southern Methodist University, Texas
  • Book: The Dangerous Art of Text Mining
  • Online publication: 21 September 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009263016.012
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • The Distinctiveness of Certain Eras
  • Jo Guldi, Southern Methodist University, Texas
  • Book: The Dangerous Art of Text Mining
  • Online publication: 21 September 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009263016.012
Available formats
×