Epistemology, methods and theories of communication in the Big Data Era: a critical panorama of social media research

Ana Thereza Nogueira Soares

Resumo


This paper proposes a critical reflection on the epistemological, methodological and theoretical implications of the researches based on Big Data – especially on social media data – for the scientific field of communication. From an epistemological point of view, it reveals the unsustainability of analytical models based on static frameworks of communication, claiming that the sociasl processes that emerge with the influence of the internet are unequivocally presented in fluid and contingent formats. In this context, it highlights that the evolution of technology itself has the potential to boost the construction of data collection and analysis tools capable of grasping the communication movements, justifying the need for alignment between ontology, epistemology and methodology in scientific research. The text, also, poses questions about communication theory and its concepts. It is believed that the relevance acquired by data in recent years should not point to a domain of the empirical over the theoretical. Effectively, the strengthening of the communication science demands precision and care with the use of terms, models and theoretical references historically consolidated in the problematization and explanation of the contemporary.

Palavras-chave


Big Data; communication theory; epistemology; social media

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17231/comsoc.33(2018).2912

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.:: LASICS ::.
Centro de Estudos de Comunicação e Sociedade (CECS)
Universidade do Minho, campus de Gualtar
4710-057 Braga - Portugal

Revista Comunicação e Sociedade
ISSN 2183-3575 (online)
ISSN 1645-2089 (print)
Prefixo DOI: 10.17231