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Session Submission Type: Panel
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.
Theorizing Gender and Communication in the Virtual World - Grace Ann Benefield, UC Davis
Matching Theory and Tools, the Case of Partition-Specific Network Analysis - Deen Goodwin Freelon, American U
Understanding Social Capital in a Networked Communication Age - K. Hazel Kwon, Arizona State U
New Theories for a Networked Age: Satisficing Semantic Search - Drew Berkley Margolin, Cornell U
Combining Digital Trace Data and Traditional Methods: A Proactive Research Ethics - Ericka Menchen-Trevino, American U, Washington D.C.
Using Computational and Networked Tools to Rebuild Media Theory - Katherine Ognyanova, Rutgers U
The Ethics of Data-Driven Theory Building in Difficult Research Environments - Katy Elizabeth Pearce, U of Washington
Theory Building Beyond Communities: Population-Level Research - Aaron Shaw, Northwestern U