La ricerca sociale al tempo dei Big Data: sfide e prospettive
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The aim of this paper is to suggest how social sciences may afford the challenges and opportunities that arise from the spread of Big Data with regard to their applicability in social research. Even if Computational Social Sciences are more and more attractive for sociologists, there is
an urgent need for wider critical reflection on the epistemological and methodological implications of their use in investigating social phenomena. The article begins by reviewing relevant contemporary debates about the nature and the features of Big Data, and then it critically explores four questions: the representativeness, validity, reliability and ethics of research based on Big Data analysis. In conclusion, it’s suggested that even if the rise of BD poses new opportunities for sociology, especially in terms of the possibility of probing hidden population and collecting data in a very quick way, the new methods cannot determine the decline of traditional methods at the present.
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