The New Data “Revolution” in Sociology: Methodological and Epistemological Issues

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 10:45-12:15
Location: Hörsaal 26 (Main Building)
RC33 Logic and Methodology in Sociology (host committee)

Language: English

The availability of new data (big data, big corpora, open data, linked data, etc.) offers to sociology both opportunities and challenges. If it constitutes a chance to enhance knowledge on some key areas (i.e. development, social inequalities, health, communication research, etc.) it also presents many usual social research challenges in new forms.
The implications of using new data in the social science domain have been widely studied from the analytics point of view, but other methodological issues have to be closely assessed (i.e. population and sample selection, validity, data structuring, metadata collection, timeliness and real-time data collection, etc.).
Moreover, the epistemological consequences of the use of new data need to be considered, as well as the re-emergence of data-driven approaches opposed to theory-laden approaches, and the great relevance of textual data, which means a big difference with the past, where quantitative social research mainly worked with numerical data. Finally, new data pose data access issues, both as access allowance (i.e. open data) and access constraint (i.e. social network data).
Session Organizers:
Enrica AMATURO, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Italy and Biagio ARAGONA, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Italy
Transformations of Sociological Methodology in the Context of Digital Data
Victoria DUDINA, St. Petersburg State University, Russia
Big Data, Big Theory: Moving Beyond New Empiricism to Generate Powerful Explanations
Sarah HOWARD, University of Wollongong, Australia; Karl MATON, University of Sydney, Australia; Ellie RENNIE, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia; Jun MA, University of Wollongong, Australia; Jie YANG, University of Wollongong, Australia; Julian THOMAS, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia; Matthew CIAO, One Education Australia, Australia; Rangan SRIKHANTA, One Education Australia, Australia
Survey Data Versus Big Data: A Review of Issues and Approaches
Vera TOEPOEL, Utrecht University, Netherlands
Crisis of Analysis and the Power of Data
Alphia POSSAMAI-INESEDY, University of Western Sydney, Australia; Alan NIXON, Western Sydney University, Australia
Proposals for Social Network Analysis of Big Data
Modesto ESCOBAR, University of Salamanca, Spain; Luis MARTINEZ, Fundación Juan March, Spain; Alexander ZLOTNIK, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, Spain
Big Textual Corpora and Mixed-Method Approach. Analysis of the M5S Institutional Blog in Rome.
Maria Paola FAGGIANO, Communication and Social Research Department (CoRiS) - Sapienza Rome, Italy; Loris DI GIAMMARIA, Communication and Social Research Department (CoRiS) - Sapienza Rome, Italy