Digital Data and Methods as Enlargements of Qualitative Research Processes: Challenges and Potentials Coming From Digital Humanities and Computational Social Sciences
Although working with digital data and methods can enlarge qualitative social research, it has not yet opened up much in this direction. In order to facilitate such a move, existing tools from computer and data science can be used, but have to be adapted to the specific needs of qualitative research. It is pivotal to critically analyze not only the digital data, but also the corresponding methods and to reflect on them with regard to research perspectives, in order to continually sound out the limits and possibilities for qualitative social research. In this article, I carve out the contexts of digital humanities and computational social sciences. With an example study following the sociology of knowledge approach to discourse that was realized using a range of digital methods, I model the qualitative research process and show which steps can be digitally enlarged. I then discuss central challenges and derive potentials and possible further developments for digital data and methods. The article is a basis for establishing a creative integration of new digital elements within qualitative research processes. With this, I shed light on the transformation of research questions, fields, methods and epistemologies.
Copyright (c) 2022 Lina Franken
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