Вig Data and Historical Social Science

Вig Data and Historical Social Science

Bearman P.S.

Cole Professor of Social Science in the Department of Sociology, Columbia University, New York, USA psb17@columbia.edu

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For citation:

Bearman P.S. Вig Data and Historical Social Science. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 2. P. 144-149


‘Big Data’ can revolutionize historical social science if it arises from substantively important contexts and is oriented towards answering substantively important questions. Such data may be especially important for answering previously largely intractable questions about the timing and sequencing of events, and of event boundaries. That said, ‘Big Data’ makes no difference for social scientists and historians whose accounts rest on narrative sentences. Since such accounts are the norm, the effects of Big Data on the practice of historical social science may be more limited than one might wish.

Big Data; historical social science
Content No 2, 2020