Roberto Franzosi

roberto franzosi

Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology
Ph. D. in Sociology, Johns Hopkins University, 1981

OFFICE: Tarbutton Hall, Room 212
OFFICE HOURS: Tu-Th 2:00pm - 4:00pm or by appt. (please use email for contacts)

PHONE: 404 727-7533

Professor Roberto Franzosi joined Emory in the Fall of 2006 and became a core faculty of the Program in Linguistics in 2007.

While not a linguist by training, Professor Franzosi has had a long-standing interest in issues of narrative, semantics, semiotics, rhetoric, and quantitative approaches to language. He teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in Textual Analysis, Narrative, and Language and Mass Media.

Professor Franzosi's research work in the field of linguistics (himself being a sociologist) has focused on narrative (e.g., see his "Narrative Analysis - Why (And How) Sociologists Should Be Interested in Narrative." 1998, Annual Review of Sociology). He has developed a technique, based on the concept of "story grammar" and relational database systems, for quantifying narrative information for socio-historical research (e.g., narratives of conflict as reported in newspaper articles on strikes, riots, or violent events), publishing several articles and books (From Words to Numbers: Narrative, Data, and Social Science, 2004, Cambridge University Press; Quantitative Narrative Analysis, Sage, 2007; Content Analysis. Benchmarks in Social Research Methods series (Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences). 4 vols. Sage, 2008). Franzosi (still me, talking in the third person) has developed a software, PC-ACE (Program for Computer-Assisted Coding of Events), for quantifying narrative information (available for free download at Using PC-ACE, Franzosi has carried out a huge data-collection project on the rise of Italian fascism (1919-22), collecting some two-hundred thousand skeleton narrative sentences from three different Italian newspapers.

Franzosi has also been fascinated by the rhetorical aspects of scientific work. Whether there is or there isn't a "reality out there", whether science can or cannot attain an objective knowledge of that reality, scientific writing underscores science's "noble dream" of objectivity via an array of specifically linguistic devices. Franzosi is approaching these issues in a book titled A Trilogy of Rhetoric: The Rhetorical Foundations of Social Science Quantitative Work (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press) (see also his "On Ambiguity and Rhetoric in (Social) Science," Sociological Methodology, 1997). In Trilogy of Rhetoric Franzosi takes three once-popularstrands of social science quantitative literature-strike, union growth, and wage inflation-and analyzes both the statistical and linguistic conventions behind the argumentations adopted.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF format)

Courses taught

LING 190 Advertising: The Magic System (crosslisted with SOC 190)
LING 190 American Racial Violence (1870-1930) (crosslisted with SOC 190)
LING 327 Language & Symbols of Mass Media (crosslisted with SOC 327)

Prof. Franzosi's Sociology Faculty Page