Big Data Challenge for Social Sciences: From Society and Opinion to Replications

Dominique Boullier (2017)

eSymposium, vol 7, issue 2, Online.

Abstract. Big Data dealing with the social produce predictive correlations for the benefit of brands and web platforms. Beyond ‘society’ and ‘opinion’ for which the text lays out a genealogy, appear the ‘traces’ that must be theorised as ‘replications’ by the social sciences in order to reap the benefits of the uncertain status of entities’ widespread traceability. High frequency replications as a collective phenomenon did exist before the emergence of digital networks but now they leave traces that can be computed. The third generation of Social Sciences currently emerging must assume the specific nature of the world of data created by digital networks, without reducing them to the categories of the sciences of ‘society’ or ‘opinion’.

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