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Communication in the Networked Age: A Discussion of Theory Building through Data-Driven Research

Mon, May 28, 9:30 to 10:45, Hilton Prague, M, Palmovka

Session Submission Type: Panel

Abstract

Digital technologies, social media, and countless online applications have created the infrastructure and interface through which many of our interactions take place today. The ubiquitous adoption of new technologies has also produced, as a byproduct, new ways of observing the world: many of our interactions now leave digital trails that, if followed, can help us unravel the rhythms of social life and the complexity of the world we inhabit. A new set of computational methods have arisen to facilitate the analysis of those digital traces, but this roundtable aims to move beyond discussions of method to offer a space where participants can discuss best practices for theory-driven and theory-building research using digital trace data. The technologies we use and the data trails we leave behind only make sense, in the end, if we characterize the social world where communication dynamics take place – a task that cannot be accomplished by merely following a data-driven approach.

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