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Cultures of Crisis

Project members: Douglas Allen, Ali Honari, Bo Mai, Sara Minucci, Marta Severo, Michael Stevenson, Wojciech Walczak

The term crisis refers to a "vitally important or decisive stage in the progress of anything; a turning-point" (OED). It can span different spatial and temporal scales - from environmental to personal crisis, from a crisis in the home to one of the global economy. This flexibility means the term can easily lead to debate, for instance around the question of interests (what gets defined as crisis, and "whose crisis" is it?). But this flexibility also means crisis is a kind of empty container, one that can be differently charged in various contexts (see Marres and Weltevrede, 2012). Can the term "crisis," like the generic term "rights," be used to query (national) cultural specificity?

Research Question

How is crisis characaterized by different national media cultures?

Corpus and Method



Input Term: Crisis [UK, US], Crise [FR], Crisi [IT], Krise [DK], أزمة [EG], kryzys [PO], [CH]

Language (is actually iTunes stroes: the respective country

Media type: Podcast

Entity: Podcast

Genre/Category: All

Total number of "crisis podcasts" per country:

iTunes API Screen_Shot_2012-06-29_at_11.04.19_AM.png

Amazon API Screen_Shot_2012-06-29_at_11.01.19_AM.png

Data extraction for primary categories:

A single row for a podcast in the CSV file:

04539f8d7a77cb2f9c93a9476ea5bf5e,podcast,,,,,,,,,475299591,"Barbara Favaro",,,,"1401 - 26 - 1301 - 1310 - 1323",2012-03-08T06:25:00Z,,EUR,"Letteratura - Podcast - Arte - Musica - Giochi e hobby - Literature",,465720029,Ku-B-Kolo33,Literature,,,track,KuBKolo33,,,,,,,,,,Ku-B-Kolo33,,

Number of "crisis podcasts" per category per country:

Wordles of Crisis: Religion and Spirituality in Egypt, US and UK.

Wordle of Crisis Podcasts in Egypt:

Wordle of Crisis Podcasts in UK:

Difference and Repetition

Unshared Categories

*Diagram of similar countries and (primary) categories*

Crisis on the Runway: Italy (& France)


  • Centrality of Culture & Society and News & Politics
  • Presence of Beauty and Fashion
  • Marginalized position of Business and Economy

Zooming in on Category Co-occurence

The analyses below show the cross-country patterns of subject co-occurrence in podcasts. The size of the nodes show the total number of podcasts with each subject title, while the weight of the links indicates the frequency with which those terms appear in the same podcast. The Gephi visualizations have been partitioned according to modularity.


United Kingdom

The "USA" charts below show the ability (when viewing the graph in Gephi) to mouse-over a node and see the nodes to which it connects and the thickness of those connections.






Future research (Amazon and the Best Sellers' Crisis)

US Book Titles (by sales rank) Amazon_US_book_titles_for_Crisis.png

  • Itunes Store Scraper:
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Amazon_US_book_titles_for_Crisis.pdfpdf Amazon_US_book_titles_for_Crisis.pdf manage 190 K 29 Jun 2012 - 08:56 MichaelStevenson  
Amazon_US_book_titles_for_Crisis.pngpng Amazon_US_book_titles_for_Crisis.png manage 311 K 29 Jun 2012 - 08:53 MichaelStevenson  
Egypt1.JPGJPG Egypt1.JPG manage 156 K 29 Jun 2012 - 10:00 MichaelStevenson  
Egypt_wordle_for_wiki.pngpng Egypt_wordle_for_wiki.png manage 23 K 29 Jun 2012 - 08:53 EaRybergDue Wordle of Crisis Podcasts in Egypt
Italy_-_Layout_1.pngpng Italy_-_Layout_1.png manage 113 K 29 Jun 2012 - 09:44 MichaelStevenson  
Itunes_Scraper_1.pngpng Itunes_Scraper_1.png manage 26 K 29 Jun 2012 - 11:06 EaRybergDue Itunes Store Scraper
Screen_Shot_2012-06-29_at_11.01.19_AM.pngpng Screen_Shot_2012-06-29_at_11.01.19_AM.png manage 38 K 29 Jun 2012 - 09:02 MichaelStevenson Amazon Web Services screenshot
Screen_Shot_2012-06-29_at_11.04.19_AM.pngpng Screen_Shot_2012-06-29_at_11.04.19_AM.png manage 28 K 29 Jun 2012 - 09:05 MichaelStevenson Itunes API screenshot
Total_number_of_crisis_podcasts_pr_country.pngpng Total_number_of_crisis_podcasts_pr_country.png manage 64 K 29 Jun 2012 - 09:00 EaRybergDue Total number of "crisis podcasts" per country
UK1.JPGJPG UK1.JPG manage 245 K 29 Jun 2012 - 10:00 MichaelStevenson  
UK_wordle_for_wiki.pngpng UK_wordle_for_wiki.png manage 40 K 29 Jun 2012 - 08:59 EaRybergDue Wordle of Crisis Podcasts in UK
USA_Scaled1.JPGJPG USA_Scaled1.JPG manage 200 K 29 Jun 2012 - 10:00 MichaelStevenson  
USA_Scaled2.JPGJPG USA_Scaled2.JPG manage 136 K 29 Jun 2012 - 10:01 MichaelStevenson  
USA_scaled3.JPGJPG USA_scaled3.JPG manage 136 K 29 Jun 2012 - 10:01 MichaelStevenson  
countries_vs_categories_graph.pngpng countries_vs_categories_graph.png manage 154 K 29 Jun 2012 - 10:10 MichaelStevenson  
country_vs_country_substracts.pngpng country_vs_country_substracts.png manage 27 K 29 Jun 2012 - 10:09 MichaelStevenson  
crisis_in_podcasts_all_countries.pngpng crisis_in_podcasts_all_countries.png manage 259 K 29 Jun 2012 - 09:01 EaRybergDue Number of "crisis podcasts" per category per country
Topic revision: r13 - 05 Jul 2012, DouglasAllen
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