Sociology is becoming more and more quantitative, researchers are basing their results on a careful collection and analysis of data. In particular, this usage case is based on a massive text mining by sociologist Roberto Franzosi by carefully reading, registering and interpreting original news from Italian newspapers in the period 1919-1922. The text mining was concentrated on topics of violence exploding in different forms between various social groups in the period. The historic events can be roughly subdivided into two phases: the "two red years" and the following black (fascist) period.
The "Two Red Years" was a period, between 1919 and 1920, of intense social conflict in Italy. This phase was followed by the extremely violent reaction of the Fascist blackshirts militia and eventually by the march on Rome of Benito Mussolini in 1922. The "Two Red Years" followed the first world war in a context of economic crisis, high unemployment and political instability. The were characterized by mass strikes, worker manifestations as well as self-management experiments through land and factories occupations. In Turin and Milan, workers councils were formed and many factory occupations took place under the leadership of anarcho-syndicalists. The agitations also extended to the agricultural areas of the Padan plain and were accompanied by peasant strikes, rural unrests and guerilla conflicts between left-wing and right-wing militias.
Grapheur sample visualization: Flow chart (Bubble chart with arrows)
The different social groups are identified by colored blobs around a circle. An arrow connects the subjects of violent acts to the objects of violence. The arrow thickness is proportional to the number of violent acts in each month.
(Click on the animated GIF image above to see more details and the names of the various social groups involved).
Download the Grapheur-ready RBI file: sociology_violence.rbiReferences: Original data for the visualization have been provided by Roberto Franzosi Professor, Department of Sociology, Emory University, Atlanta.
The scientific results have been desccribed in the books:
Quantitative Narrative Analysis (Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences). Roberto Franzosi, Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 2010.
From Words to Numbers: Narrative, Data, and Social Science. Roberto Franzosi, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004 .
Additional info from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biennio_Rosso and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squadrismo