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a case study of big data

We present this as an example of research which finds in social media a means to explore human behaviour – in this case an experiment in analysing a large corpus of tweets sent during the August 2011 riots in England. This is a very interesting paper as it presents issues of methodology but the key question for this resource is where does this kind of work go in generating theory? The paper is theoretical in that it is trying to draw attention to the ways in which phenomenon are related (Twitter and deviant behaviour) and offers some indications as to why this might be the case, but some will not see it as a theoretical paper or as theoretically underdeveloped. Is it undertheorised and if so does it matter?

Procter, R., Visb, F. and Voss, A. (2013) Reading the riots on Twitter: methodological innovation for the analysis of big data, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 16, 3, 197–214.