Punziano, G., Delli Paoli, A. (2021). Handbook of Research on Advanced Research Methodologies for a Digital Society. IGI Global, Pennsylvania.
Doing research is an ever-changing challenge for social scientists. This challenge is harder than ever today as current societies are changing quickly and in many, sometimes conflicting, directions. Social phenomena, personal interactions, and formal and informal relationships are becoming more borderless and disconnected from the anchors of the offline “reality.” These dynamics are heavily marking our time and are suggesting evolutionary challenges in the ways we know, interpret, and analyze the world. Internet and computer-mediated communication (CMC) is being incorporated into every aspect of daily life, and social life has been deeply penetrated by the internet. This is due to recent technological developments that increase the scope and range of online social spaces and the forms and time of participation such as Web 2.0, which widened the opportunities for user-generated content, the emergence of an “internet of things,” and of ubiquitous mobile devices that make it possible to always be connected. This implies an adjustment to epistemological and methodological stances for conducting social research and an adaption of traditional social research methods to the specificities of online interactions in the digital society.