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Open Access Big data in sociologisch onderzoek1

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References to ‘big data’ have by now become commonplace in both the public debate and in scientific research, and also in sociological research new forms of large scale digital data are increasingly important. This article aims to provide an overview of the role and relevance of such new forms of data for sociological research. Using examples, I illustrate that these data allow for answering existing sociological questions in new ways, but also trigger new questions. Next, I sketch the opportunities that new digital data offer for the development of new methods and theory, as well as the most important drawbacks of big data. Finally, I argue that, so far, sociology as a discipline has failed to take full advantage of the opportunities that new digital data offer, and as a result risks losing relevance as compared to other field as well as private commercial parties. I conclude with some suggestions to alleviate this situation.
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Keywords: big data; digitalisering; methoden; sociale netwerken

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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  • Sociologie publiceert over actuele maatschappelijke vraagstukken en sociologisch-theoretische onderwerpen. De artikelen en essays zijn interessant voor een breed, interdisciplinair publiek. Naast onderzoeksartikelen, onderzoeksnotities en boekbesprekingen biedt Sociologie met de rubrieken Debat en Inspiratie een podium voor gedachtewisseling en sociologische verbeelding. Sociologie is het resultaat van het samengaan van de gerenommeerde tijdschriften Sociologische Gids en Amsterdams Sociologisch Tijdschrift en bestrijkt een breed terrein van de sociologiebeoefening in Nederland.

    Sociology (Sociologie) publishes articles on current social issues and sociological-theoretical subjects. The articles and essays are interesting for a wide interdisciplinary audience. In addition to research articles, research notes and book reviews Sociology provides a platform for exchange of views with the sections Debate and Inspiration. Sociology is the result of the merging of the prestigious journals Sociologische Gids and Amsterdams Sociologisch Tijdschrift and covers a wide field of sociology in the Netherlands.

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