Social Science with Social Media

Scott Andrew Golder
2017
Over the past twenty-five years, electronic communication has matured from being a niche social activity mainly enjoyed by academics and engineers, to an important enabler of the daily activities of a demographically diverse population of hundreds of millions of people worldwide, augmenting, complementing, or even replacing offline methods of socializing, dating, shopping, learning, working, and engaging in political activities. While this transition is in itself interesting, it also has
more » ... cant implications for the social and behavioral sciences. The daily lives of people worldwide are now captured in detailed, event-level recordings that are time-stamped and geo-stamped, providing researchers with a new kind of observational data, enabling them to address fundamental questions about social identity, status, conflict, cooperation, collective action, and diffusion. This dissertation explores these implications, with a critical review and two empirical explorations. Chapter one reviews existing literature and examines the methodological challenges that arise along with the opportunity provided by online behavioral data, including generalizing to the offline world, protecting privacy, and solving the logistical challenges posed by data at a larger scale than social and behavioral
doi:10.7298/x4nv9gcx fatcat:jhlv7wfebfcjja44siu4rk57kq