Big Data in the Context of Studying Problems of Modern Society

2019 Vіsnik HNU іmenі V. N. Karazіna. Serіâ Socіologіčnі doslіdžennâ sučasnogo suspіl'stva: metodologіâ, teorіâ, metodi  
The article is devoted to the analysis of the phenomenon of big data and the role that they play in the study of modern society. The evolution of the interpretation of big data is characterized and it is shown that the initial technological connotation of big data associated with emphasizing the extremeness of its volume, which does not allow processing by traditional methods and tools, has undergone significant transformations due to the inclusion of the human component. Now, big data is
more » ... tood as a set of digital tracks that people leave when they use information technology: they surf the Internet, download mobile applications or music, chat with friends on social networks, use GPS, buy goods in online stores, etc. Big data is generated by the Internet, but it contains information not only about the Internet, but about society and the social processes that are displayed on the Internet. In other words, big data is datafied information about everything and everyone. It is shown that big data is a new source of information both about the world around us and about the development of social processes, which turns them into a valuable base of empirical sociological research. However, empirical research based on big data is impossible without solving a number of methodological problems, in particular, questions of "re-profiling" of online data processing methods used by Internet platforms in order to solve sociological problems. This necessitates the development of "digital methods" – a new direction in the field of methodology of sociological analysis, which is formed in connection with the wide dissemination of big data. It is emphasized that widespread datafication changes society and redefines human existence in the era of big data, and therefore it is impossible to consider big data outside the context of their "dark side". It is concluded that today the urgent problem is the involvement of the sociological community in the development of a fair data policy.
doi:10.26565/2227-6521-2019-42-06 fatcat:la3rhh4xtfct7gzccjktm62i5u