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The Future of “Digital Research”

The Future of “Digital Research”
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Author(s): Costantino Cipolla (University of Bologna, Italy)
Copyright: 2022
Pages: 12
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.ch004


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Sociology is a discipline inevitably based on interpretative categories of social reality derived from a specific historical phase. In a period that is increasingly defined as a new era or digital society, can sociological knowledge not be upset by this overload of changes of every kind and nature? And can these changes not involve all identity components of sociology, namely theory, research, and the usability of its knowledge? Given this, it seems rather evident that this volume is the sign of the times and testify the variety and flexibility of digital methods. The author limits to dealing schematically with two methodological components that are constitutive of the digital revolution: the shift from the traditional and glorious ethnography to the new and emerging netnography, especially as regards the qualitative side, and, on the more properly quantitative side, the overwhelming and boundless spread of big data. A brief and selective description of these “transitions” will be complemented by a thoughtful evaluation of their potential for the future in the peculiar field of inquiry.

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