Online Social Research

Key information

Start date: 02 March 2020

Attendance dates:

March 2020: 02, 03, 04

Time commitment: 3 days

Venue:

Stag Hill campus, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH

Contact details:

Overview

The rapid expansion of the internet has presented researchers with a range of new ways to collect data about the social world, generating important new insights into social behaviour and interaction.

This module is designed to give you an introduction to online social research, covering a range of qualitative and quantitative methods for collecting and analysing online data, and for exploring digital social phenomena. Using a combination of lectures and hands-on practical sessions, you will explore various aspects of online social research including ways to collect data, the ethics of online research and methods to analyse online data.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Understand the range of online social research methods currently available (C and K)
  • Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these methods and their place in contemporary sociology (C and K)
  • Appreciate the ethical issues that online social research methods raise (C, K, P and T)
  • Demonstrate a practical understanding of the application of these methods (K, P and T)
  • Develop research proposals that make effective and appropriate use of these methods (K, P and T).

Attributes

Code Description
C Cognitive/analytical
K Subject knowledge
P Professional/practical skills
T Transferable skills

Course content

  • The emergence of digital sociology and online social research
  • Online interviews and focus groups
  • Administering surveys online
  • Ethnography in online settings
  • Multi-sited and online/offline fieldwork
  • Ethics of online research
  • Methods of analysing online data including a selection from:
    • Social media data and NVivo
    • Semiotic and content analysis
    • Sentiment analysis
    • Issue crawler
    • Social network analysis.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Class discussions
  • Practical sessions working with data on paper and on the computer

Course leader

Christine Hine

Christine is a sociologist of science and technology who has a particular focus on the role played by new technologies in the knowledge construction process. She has a major interest in the development of ethnography in technical settings and in virt...

Reading list

Caliandro, A. and Gandini, A. (2016). Qualitative research in digital environments: a research toolkit. Taylor & Francis.

Hine, C. (2015). Ethnography for the internet: embedded, embodied and everyday. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Marres, N. (2017). Digital sociology: The reinvention of social research. John Wiley & Sons.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this module.

You should have some knowledge of social research methods.

Fees and funding

Price per person:

£595

Government and commercial sector applicants

£495

Education and charitable sector applicants

£395

Students

How to apply

You can apply for this module through our online store.

Apply now

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Further details of our terms and conditions will follow.

Disclaimer

This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the commencement of the course. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.