14 November 2019 – at 15.30
Sala Specchi, Via Cesarotti 10/12, Dep. FISPPA – Univ. of Padova
The availability of digital data has generated hopes about a rediscovered impact of the social sciences, in their capacity to analyse, understand and, for some, predict social phenomena. However, the methodological problems of digital and big data have led some scholars to take a more cautious approach. We are in a transitional moment, when ‘traditional methods’ are still widely applied and their transposition online, or ‘digitalization’, has been the first step towards the exploitation of the digital for social scientific purposes. That is why some prefer to distinguish between methods that have been ‘digitalized’, for example surveys or interviews, and those that are ‘native’. At the same time, the distinction is not terribly practical at this stage because very often researchers need to combine traditional methods with novel ones in order to test validity and reliability. Methodological principles remain the same and some of the issues with digital methods will not be addressed by only considering the media specificity of digital platforms.