To analyse social and behavioural phenomena in our digitalized world, it is necessary to understand the main research opportunities and challenges specific to online and digital data. This book presents an overview of the many techniques that are part of the fundamental toolbox of the digital social scientist. Placing online methods within the wider tradition of social research, Giuseppe Veltri discusses the principles and frameworks that underlie each technique of digital research. This practical guide covers methodological issues such as dealing with different types of digital data, construct validity, representativeness and big data sampling. It looks at different forms of unobtrusive data collection methods (such as web scraping and social media mining) as well as obtrusive methods (including qualitative methods, web surveys and experiments). Special extended attention is given to computational approaches to statistical analysis, text mining and network analysis. Digital Social Research will be a welcome resource for students and researchers across the social sciences and humanities carrying out digital research (or interested in the future of social research).
Introduction 1. Social research using digital data and methods 2. Unobtrusive vs Obtrusive methods 3. Online obtrusive data collection methods 4. Quantitative data analysis reloaded 5. Networks and data 6. Text mining 7. Final remarks References
‘We need more books like this. With his far-reaching and accessible overview of the field, Giuseppe A. Veltri makes a very welcome contribution.’Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology, and President of the Association of Internet Researchers ‘Giuseppe A. Veltri’s innovative approach locates digital methods within the established canon of social research methodology, without the hyperbole that often surrounds such discussion. Students will learn about the essential principles of social scientific research and where new methods sit in relation to traditional methods.’Nick Allum, Professor of Research Methodology, University of Essex ‘This is a timely and important book. Its real strength is that it moves beyond the “how to” to explain the “why”. This is achieved with clear language that makes the book of value to advanced undergraduates and postgraduates alike.’Scott Wright, Associate Professor of Digital Media and Political Communication, University of Melbourne
Giuseppe A. Veltri, PhD, is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Trento, Italy.
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