Online research methods are popular, dynamic and fast-changing. Following on from the great success of the first edition, published in 2008, The SAGE Handbook of Online Research Methods, Second Edition offers both updates of existing subject areas and new chapters covering more recent developments, such as social media, big data, data visualization and CAQDAS. Bringing together the leading names in both qualitative and quantitative online research, this new edition is organised into nine sections: 1. Online Research Methods 2. Designing Online Research 3. Online Data Capture and Data Collection 4. The Online Survey 5. Digital Quantitative Analysis 6. Digital Text Analysis 7. Virtual Ethnography 8. Online Secondary Analysis: Resources and Methods 9. The Future of Online Social Research The SAGE Handbook of Online Research Methods, Second Edition is an essential resource for anyone interested in the contemporary practice of computer-mediated research and scholarship.

Chapter 36: Online Research Methods and Social Theory

Online Research Methods and Social Theory

ONLINE RESEARCH METHODS AND SOCIAL THEORY
Grant Blank

The enormous growth in online activities has created new opportunities for research. These opportunities are theoretical as well as methodological. The theoretical opportunities have been present in prior chapters but never emphasized; this chapter brings theory into focus without losing sight of methods. Specifically, the chapter discusses the explanatory power of theory based on online methodologies to address important social issues. Using this goal, it describes two themes common in the preceding chapters: big data and the qualitative data revolution. Each theme presents problems as well as opportunities and the goal of this chapter is to explore how methods and theory work together to define and mitigate the ...

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