- Copyright Page
- About the contributors
- Communication in the Networked Age
- Networks and Information Flow: The Second Golden Age
- Rebooting Mass Communication: Using Computational and Network Tools to Rebuild Media Theory
- Propagation Phenomena in Social Media
- Dynamical Processes in Time-Varying Networks
- Partition-Specific Network Analysis of Digital Trace Data: Research Questions and Tools
- How Can Computational Social Science Motivate the Development of Theories, Data, and Methods to Advance Our Understanding of Communication and Organizational Dynamics?
- The New Dynamics of Organizational Change
- Online Communication by Emergency Responders during Crisis Events
- Studying Populations of Online Communities
- Gender and Networks in Virtual Worlds
- Understanding Social Dynamics Online: Social Networks, Social Capital, and Social Interactions
- The Analysis of Social Capital in Digital Environments: A Social Investment Approach
- Multiplying the Medium: Tie Strength, Social Role, and Mobile Media Multiplexity
- Revolutionizing Mental Health with Social Media
- The Neuroscience of Information Sharing
- Political Communication Research in a Networked World
- Modeling and Measuring Deliberation Online
- Moving Beyond Sentiment Analysis: Social Media and Emotions in Political Communication
- Dynamics of Attention and Public Opinion in Social Media
- A Satisficing Search Model of Text Production
- Studying Networked Communication in the Middle East: Social Disrupter and Social Observatory
- Mobile Space and Agility as the Subversive Partner
- One Foot on the Streets, One Foot on the Web: Analyzing the Ecosystem of Protest Movements in an Era of Pervasive Digital Communication
- Our Stage, Our Streets: Brooklyn Drag and the Queer Imaginary
- Digital Mapping of Urban Mobility Patterns
- Research on Mobile Phone Data in the Global South: Opportunities and Challenges
- The Ethics of Digital Research
- Digital Trace Data and Social Research: A Proactive Research Ethics
- A Practitioner’s Guide to Ethical Web Data Collection
- Responsible Research on Social Networks: Dilemmas and Solutions
- Unintended Consequences of Using Digital Methods in Difficult Research Environments
- Ethical Issues in Internet Research: The Case of China
- The Past and Future of Communication Research
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter introduces a theoretical and analytical framework that allows the field of communication to adapt to the research challenges of the digital age. In this framework, we use the term ‘networked communication’ to refer to the ability to leverage digital trace data to advance theoretical and empirical research goals. In particular, new data resources and computational tools allow us to improve our understanding of the causes and consequences of communication, spanning levels of analyses that go from the individual to the group and, from there, to organizations, collectives, and societies. The approach we propose here lies at the confluence of network science and computational social science, and it has many different applications as illustrated by the thirty-two chapters that form the Handbook. At the heart of this approach is the principle that we need to embrace the complex and dynamic nature of communication processes. We can only theorize about thoses processes by bringing new empirical light and methodoloigical sophistication to the old questions about the nature, determinants, and outcomes of human communication in an increasingly interconnected environment.
Brooke Foucault Welles is an Associate Professor in the department of Communication Studies and core faculty of the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University, Boston, MA.
Sandra González-Bailón is an Associate Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, and affiliated faculty at the Warren Center for Network and Data Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
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