Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Tim Recuber contributed a chapter in Digital Sociologies, published recently by Policy Press, University of Bristol, United Kingdom. “Digital discourse analysis: Finding meaning in small online spaces” appears in a section on “Digital Sociology in Everyday Life.”
Because of the digitalization of social life, sociological research is now possible in intimate spaces, with small samples of textual data, allowing researchers to see people making sense of the world in their own words.
Recuber’s chapter focuses on a textual research approach – digital discourse analysis – that makes use of this type of data rather than the typical “big data methodologies” that are usually in the spotlight. The chapter presents the advantages of digital discourse analysis, along with some methodological and ethical guidelines.
According to Recuber, “digital discourse analysis can reveal much about the ways that social actors create meaning out of the messiness of everyday life…and it can reveal this with a kind of transparency and reflexivity that big data methodologies often lack.”