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DOI: 10.18413/2408-9338-2020-6-1-0-2

Methodology of big data in studying orthodox communities

The article discusses the emergence of "digital sociology" as a new scientific direction, its main methodological principles, and their implementation in empirical research in the social network VKontakte. The working process of the researcher with such a tool as a data parser is considered, as well as the main principles of using this method.

Within the framework of the "big data" paradigm, we analyze the principles of building a study sample, including the selection of communities and their participants. Using the example of Orthodox VKontakte communities dedicated to the family, we show such techniques for minimizing the sampling error and selecting the most relevant audience, as searching for users in selected communities; finding users in several communities at the same time, which contributes to the uniformity of the sample; clearing bots and users who have not installed an avatar; searching for users with an "open" date of birth.

The article identifies socio-demographic criteria for analyzing the audience of Orthodox communities (distribution by gender and age groups, geography of community members by country and city, marital status, number of children), as well as the main behavioral criterion – the engagement rate.

The engagement rate as a research tool allows to take into account the behavioral activity of community members, including likes, republications, and comments over the entire lifetime of certain communities. This criterion allows you to assess the degree of influence of communities on their members, based not on the number of VKontakte groups, which may differ at times, but on the degree of participation of subscribers in the life of the community. The article shows that the engagement rate in Orthodox family communities is higher on average than in secular communities of similar subjects. This is primarily due to the very religious orientation of Orthodox communities, which allows both active engagement of existing subscribers in various communication activities, and involvement of new ones.

Information for citation: Pisarevskiy, V. G. (2020), “Methodology of big data in studying orthodox communities”, Research Result. Sociology and management, 6 (1), 16-28. DOI: 10.18413/2408-9338-2020-6-1-0-2

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