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Qualitative analysis of social media data

Beneito-Montagut, Roser ORCID: 2019. Qualitative analysis of social media data. Atkinson, Paul, Delamont, Sara, Cernat, Alexandru, Sakshaug, Joseph W. and Williams, Richard A., eds. SAGE Research Methods Foundations, SAGE, (10.4135/9781526421036840280)

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Society has become thoroughly mediatised. Every aspect and part of society from the economy, politics and education to civil society and everyday social relations is immersed by media. Today we have the internet, smart phones, apps, social network services, blogs, email, and other social media platforms. Social media has brought changes to the way we inform, communicate with others, learn, play and socialize. Most people are quite well connected and communicate with others and while being connected they obtain, organize, produce and share information on a regular basis. These common routinely activities generate a large amount of information and knowledge of different forms, much of it created by ‘ordinary people’. This information is generally referred as digital social data which is potentially of great interest to social scientists (Sloan and Quan-Haase, 2017). From the emergence of the internet, both quantitative and qualitative research have been interested in analysing digital data for its endeavour. As social media have enlarged the size and variety of the traces of social actors’ actions and expressions, the analytical possibilities available for social science researchers have been reshaped too. This has brought to the fore the necessity of methodological innovations and interdisciplinary collaboration for the study of social media data. Conversely, this digital turn has generated lively debates about its potential to know the contemporary social world. While at the beginning of internet research scholars tended to study social life online as a separated from ‘real life’, researchers disputed this and argued the need for online social life to be viewed as an integral part of social life (Beneito-Montagut, 2011). Nevertheless, linking social media data to what is going on offline is still one of the challenges of digital social science research.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 9781526421036
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 January 2020
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 07:44

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