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Combing the Wreckage: Discourse Analysis in Forgotten Digital Spaces

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Presentation at the Feb 2015 Eastern Sociological Society's "Digital Sociology" mini-conference

Published in: Data & Analytics
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Combing the Wreckage: Discourse Analysis in Forgotten Digital Spaces

  1. 1. Comrs‘-um Tug bd{lo. c;<A 6:6: D? 5CoutLs~°- Awu, :/S3S 3»! F°KG<o'"(~; N D‘: G? —rM, §? AC2 3 TEM ? eo~/ s<¢’ -''(¢ cud. e-¢®, ‘> rincdon. ml 9. @+iwf 0O
  2. 2. Big Data, new epistemologies and Darariiun-s dulln- lh; l). ;', .: . md ii7'. 'l| ' I Ivi‘-iL‘| |lI‘i-V_V'lLl| ‘ ii fl; -|gv . ||‘.7T I‘ ‘ lmme - 1:! Big Data: Methodological '" '"‘°'" ‘M Challenges and Approaches for Sociological Analysis %RUM: OUA. LITAY1VE VI'>l'VIlV?1 m 2 An :1 SOCIAL RESEARCH “-0 -‘-"'3 Opening up to Blg Data: Computer-Asslsled Analysis of Textual Data In Social Sciences l‘ il+-V Big Data and the brave new world of social media research M1,, After the crisis? Big Data and the ‘ ‘ _ methodological challenges of ‘ski
  3. 3. into~ ' . / '". ."”. mm°' mi" " ls pumng 3"’ mmi°" . i soua machines Big Data laboratory. 3" I ltt'ul‘£-lll()l. l.£1llSl fantasy that enough data can be collected with l ‘l]°_ "Elli methodology to provide an objective and dlS| _nfCl'cslcd picture of reality is an old and familiar one: positivism. This is the understanding that the social world can l be known and explained from a value-neutral, transcendent view from nowhere in particular. The term comes fmm Positive Philosophy (1830-1842), by August Comte. who also coined the term sociology in this image. As Western sociology began to congeal as a discipline (departments. paid jobs, journals, conferences), Emile Durkheim, another of the field's founders, believed it could function as a ‘social ' physics" capable of outlining “social facts‘ akin to the ‘ measurable facts that could be recorded about the physical properties of objects. It’s an arrogant view, in retrospect — one that aims for a grand, general theory that can explain social life, a view that became increasingly rooted as sociology became focused on empirical data collection. A century later, that unwieldy aspiration has been largely iew From Nowhere The New Inquiry abandoned by sociologists in favor of reorienting the discipline toward recognizing complexities rather than , pursuing universal explanations for human sociality. But the advent of Big Data has resurrected the fantasy of a social 1} , physics, promising a new data-driven technique for ratifying social facts with sheer algorithmic processing power. 4» Positivism's intensity has waxed and waned over time, but it never entirely dies out, because its rewards are too seductive. The fantasy of a simple truth that can transcend . .__ I_. _.. _.. ... ..
  4. 4. Pfllde 1 | Occupy em pathy? Online politics and micro-narratives ; .r. ..mi'TZLT’.3£: T - 00- i”; iv. ‘<7J: ./: iI444f- of suffering m. ... .,-. m.. , i: .isAGE Timothy Recuber r""{1’i(. ‘TlVVIIlKl'VURDG’. ?l'l Rifrfinnllni->a«: i.i II? " Part ll: Proaumprion and Politics A~-mu v rcn»«m. i‘ Sn. ilT". l‘ The Prosumption of Commemoration: Disasters, Digital Memory Banks, and Online Collective Memory Timothy Recuber' Self-destruction as Sell‘-preservation: Digital Suicide Notes and the Commemoration of the :
  5. 5. *' Kee? CA1'eG; ol1l&5 . §ii~/ ?i, & ” NQ. ANlN6S 6F V-'5°~“5 Al’~<’- <<: .‘/ ’" Q’ii| ic, s OF Qurr-‘M6; llAMi 6; ” TKAN5?AKeNc>/ -—~ "‘l'<‘vx-l-kl Nari n"l_‘-Ivlrlxll . ... . / r&ANS’f<LF-R53 Ll‘TY NV‘ 3 1 . .i. ;uwiue‘i i,2—ry

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