Modeling Conflict. Representations of Social Groups in Present-Day Dutch Literature
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Cultural Analytics, 2021, 6, (2021), pp. 1-31
09 juni 2021
Article / Letter to editor
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Literatuurwetenschap en Cultuurwetenschap
Communicatie in Organisaties
Journal of Cultural Analytics
SubjectCritical Humanities; Europe in a Changing World; Tourism, Travel and Text
This essay responds to a lack of scholarly attention for conflict as a narrative mechanism since the formalist models of Vladimir Propp and Algirdas Julien Greimas. Building on recent developments within cultural analytics, the essay argues for a new understanding of narrative conflict by integrating classic narratological models with data-driven, statistical methods. It does so by (a) proposing two computational models of conflict based on theoretical insights from narratology, conflict studies, and network theory, (b) applying those models to a sample corpus of 170 present-day Dutch novels, and (c) briefly illustrating the narratological value of the results by interpreting the representation of social groups in two novels from the corpus –Bart Koubaa’s De Brooklynclub(2012) and Leon de Winter’s VSV (2012) –in light of the statistical patterns found for the corpus as a whole. The analyses of dyadic (two characters) and triadic (three characters) conflict leads to two central conclusions: 1) lower educated characters are more dominant in dyadic conflicts and 2) the majority of triadic conflicts exist in a state of social balance.
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