Web Social Science Concepts, Data and Tools for Social Scientists in the Digital Age

ISBN-10: 1849204829
ISBN-13: 9781849204828
Edition: 2013
Authors: Robert Ackland
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Description: This book provides readers with a comprehensive guide to the theory and research of Web Social Science. It traces and critically evaluates the rise of web social science, demonstrates how the web is used as a resource for social research,  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: SAGE Publications, Limited
Publication date: 6/17/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

This book provides readers with a comprehensive guide to the theory and research of Web Social Science. It traces and critically evaluates the rise of web social science, demonstrates how the web is used as a resource for social research, illuminates how web social science promotes social and political connections and the ways in which it has been used for the purposes of commerce and business.Situating social sciences in the light of our current eSociety, this book gives you the opportunity to:- Gain an understanding of the fundamental changes to society, politics and the economy that have resulted from new information and communication technologies such as the Web- Learn about relevant data, tools and research methods for conducting research using web data.- Learn how Internet data are providing new insights into long-standing social science research questions.- Understand how social science can facilitate an understanding of life in the InternetOriginal and timely, this will be of immense use for students and researchers throughout the social sciences. It will also be an important source of knowledge for readers studying and researching information theory and engineering.

Robert Ackland is an Associate Professor in the Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute at the Australian National University. He has degrees in economics from the University of Melbourne, Yale University (where he was a Fulbright Scholar) and the ANU, where he gained his PhD in 2001.

List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Boxes
About the Author
Preface
Introduction
The web: technology, history and governance
Examples of online computer-mediated interaction
Cyberspace, virtual communities and online social networks
Cyberspace
Virtual communities
Online social networks
Disciplinary approaches to researching the web
Construct validity of web data
Shaping force or social tool?
Conclusion
Web Social Science Methods
Online research methods
Dimensions and modes of online research
Online surveys
Sampling: basics
Types of Internet surveys
Online surveys: process and ethics
Online survey example: election studies and election polls
Other issues
Online interviews and focus groups
Types of online interviews
Online interviews: process and ethics
Online focus groups
Other issues
Web content analysis
Quantitative web content analysis
Qualitative web content analysis
Web content used in data preparation
Social media network analysis
Online experiments
Online laboratory experiments
Online field experiments
Online natural experiments
Online field research
Digital trace data: ethics
Conclusion
Social media networks
Social networks: concepts and definitions
An example school friendship network
Social network analysis
Social relations and social networks
Statistical analysis of social networks
Social media networks
Representing online interactions as interpersonal networks
Threaded conversations
Social network sites
Microblogs
Social networks, information networks and communication networks
Flows of information and attention
SNA metrics for the example school friendship network (advanced)
Node-level SNA metrics
Network-level SNA metrics
Conclusion
Hyperlink networks
Hyperlink networks: background
Motives for sending, and benefits of receiving, hyperlinks
Hyperlink network nodes, ties and boundaries
Three disciplinary perspectives on hyperlink networks
Citation hyperlink networks
Issue hyperlink networks
Social hyperlink networks
Comparing the disciplinary perspectives
Tools for hyperlink network research
Web crawlers
Historical web data
Blogs
Conclusion
Web Social Science Examples
Friendship formation and social influence
Homophily in friendship formation
Measurement issues
Friendship formation in Facebook
Online dating
Social influence
Identifying social influence
Social influence in social media
Conclusion
Organisational collective behaviour
Collective behaviour on the web: background
Collective action and public goods
Hyperlink networks as information public goods
Networked social movements
Conclusion
Politics and participation
Visibility of political information
Power laws and politics online
Social and political engagement
Web use and social capital
Political engagement
Political homophily
Divided they blog
An introduction to power laws (advanced)
Conclusion
Government and public policy
Delivery of information to citizens
Government hyperlink networks
Government authority
Civil unrest
Internet censorship
Public policy modelling
The mapping principle
The macroeconomics of a virtual world
Conclusion
Production and collaboration
Peer production and information public goods
Peer production
Information public goods
Scholarly activity and communication
Webometric measures of scholarly output and impact
Reconfiguring access to scholarly information and expertise
Network structure and achievement
Identifying a 'network effect' in outcomes
Structural holes in Second Life
Conclusion
Commerce and marketing
Distribution of product sales
Power laws and superstars
Evidence for the Long Tail
Influence in markets
Referrals from friends
Ratings systems
Recommender systems
Conclusion
References
Index

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