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The Difficult Joining of Theory and Empirical Research: Strengths and Weaknesses of Digital Research Methods

The Difficult Joining of Theory and Empirical Research: Strengths and Weaknesses of Digital Research Methods
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Author(s): Emiliana Mangone (University of Salerno, Italy)
Copyright: 2022
Pages: 13
Source title: Handbook of Research on Advanced Research Methodologies for a Digital Society
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Gabriella Punziano (University of Naples Federico II, Italy) and Angela Delli Paoli (University of Salerno, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8473-6.ch002

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Abstract

Many approaches to the study of the social sciences rely on the interpretation of reality itself, giving rise to the quantitative/qualitative dispute. These methods cannot exist one without the other – nor can they necessarily find themselves on opposite poles. To follow one does not mean to forsake the other; on the contrary, both offer the opportunity to observe from different angles aspects of the phenomenon investigated, granting more effective readings of its complexity. While sociology has reproduced its various stances in its scholarly analyses, the most recent debate has relinquished this debate to focus on two alternative features. Both pertain to sociology and the role of social science researchers: the conjugation between theory and empirics and the crisis of sociology in providing answers to societal changes. This contribution aims to address the issues related to the conjugation between theory and empirical research considering digital research methods. The author outlines their strengths and weaknesses without forgetting the original status of sociology as a science.

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