Digital Social Science
Welcome to the homepage of "Digital Social Science".
Society in the 21st century is being digitized to an unprecedented degree. Data, algorithms and digital communication determine everyday life, but also open up enormous potential. The Digital Social Science working group is part of a broader process in the social sciences: it is intended to serve as a bridge to Computational Social Science (CSS) at the University of Oldenburg. CSS can be understood in two ways; as a research field of the computer-mediated social, and as the application of computer-intensive methods to social phenomena. Accordingly, the research is concerned with substantive phenomena, such as the interaction of social/political action and technology, and contributes to answering traditional research questions with new data and methods.
Social media, for example, represent one of the most conspicuous forms of digitization. They are developing into arenas of social action that are increasingly influencing politics, society and technological development. Hardly any other social system corresponds so closely to "social computing." This data can be applied to a wide range of social science questions: Social media platforms are also social networks that can provide data to answer questions about social relationships, education and labor markets. However, social media also have their downsides: Through anonymity and high reach, they reinforce the tendency to 'incvility' and hate speech, which has both normative and practical consequences for content management and platform governance.
The teaching imparts both content and methodological basics of CSS from "Big Data" to "Artificial Intelligence", for a broad audience. A special focus is on questions of social digitalization, data protection and the ethical limits of CSS. Participants will gain basic knowledge about how algorithms work, possible data sources for social science research projects, methods for analyzing images, texts or networks.