Big Data for Qualitative Research  book cover
1st Edition

Big Data for Qualitative Research

ISBN 9781032288789
Published February 22, 2022 by Routledge
90 Pages

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Book Description

Big Data for Qualitative Research covers everything small data researchers need to know about big data, from the potentials of big data analytics to its methodological and ethical challenges. The data that we generate in everyday life is now digitally mediated, stored, and analyzed by web sites, companies, institutions, and governments. Big data is large volume, rapidly generated, digitally encoded information that is often related to other networked data, and can provide valuable evidence for study of phenomena.

This book explores the potentials of qualitative methods and analysis for big data, including text mining, sentiment analysis, information and data visualization, netnography, follow-the-thing methods, mobile research methods, multimodal analysis, and rhythmanalysis. It debates new concerns about ethics, privacy, and dataveillance for big data qualitative researchers.

This book is essential reading for those who do qualitative and mixed methods research, and are curious, excited, or even skeptical about big data and what it means for future research. Now is the time for researchers to understand, debate, and envisage the new possibilities and challenges of the rapidly developing and dynamic field of big data from the vantage point of the qualitative researcher.

Table of Contents




Chapter 1. What is Big Data?

Chapter 2. Big Data in Historical Context

Chapter 3. Challenges of Big Data for Qualitative Researchers

Chapter 4. Potentials of Big Data Analytics for Qualitative Researchers

Chapter 5. Big Data Ethics, Privacy, and Dataveillance

Chapter 6. Anticipating Big Data Futures for Qualitative Researchers



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Kathy A. Mills is Professor of Literacies and Digital Cultures, Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane. A prolific, award-winning academic author, ethnographer, and Future Fellow of the Australian Research Council, she is also Chair of the American Educational Research Association Writing and Literacies Special Interest Group and serves on a number of international journal editorial boards.


"Big data is flooding society. In this important and original volume, Kathy Mills shows that big data nicely fits with qualitative researchers’ pursuit of naturalistic materials. Essential reading for researchers and students." David Silverman, Emeritus Professor, Sociology Department, Goldsmiths' College, London University, Visiting Professor, UTS Business School

"In the world of social research, there have until now been two paradigmatic kinds of methodology, broadly classified as qualitative and qualitative. Rarely the twain shall meet, except by awkward juxtaposition in 'mixed methods'. Now Kathy Mills introduces us to a completely new species of research which is at once qualitative and quantitative. Big Data for Qualitative Research is a concisely described and elegantly argued account of the new qualitative data sources, from social media digital learning environments. Massive in their scale, these sources of social evidence require innovative methods, so opening new avenues for analysis and lines of interpretation." William Cope, Professor, Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, College of Education, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign