by J. Craig Jenkins, Kazimierz M. Slomczynski, and Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow
An upsurge in popularity is not necessarily a revolution.
The wealth of quantitative data—including data from cross-national survey projects, official governmental and nongovernmental organization (NGO) statistics, newspapers and electronic newswires, and a variety of Internet-based websites, blogs, and social media sites—has generated a large and growing empirically based literature on political behavior.
Yet, social scientists have only begun to use this wealth to its fullest capacity, as advances in computing infrastructures, methods, and Internet communication technologies create new opportunities for developing and integrating diverse types of information into social science data. Social science faces the challenge of “big data,” a new era of the quantification and analysis of political behavior on an unprecedented scope and scale.
Will it rise to this challenge?
We guest edited a special issue of the International Journal of Sociology addresses recent uses of “big data,” its multiple meanings, and the potential that this may have in building a stronger understanding of political behavior. In our introduction, “Political Behavior and Big Data,” we address recent uses of “big data,” its multiple meanings, and the potential that this may have in building a stronger understanding of political behavior.