Social research applied to social networks. A methodological innovation for the analysis of Facebook Likes



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Parra Contreras, Pilar and Gordo López, Ángel Juan and D' Antonio, Sergio (2014) Social research applied to social networks. A methodological innovation for the analysis of Facebook Likes. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social (69). pp. 195-212. ISSN 1138-5820

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Facebook is already part of our social imaginary. Its notoriety has grown exponentially in the Age of Big Data. This article illustrates some of the ways in which social networks might function as a major resource of information for social research. These possibilities are illustrated through the case study of groups of people who drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Method. This study is based on quantitative and qualitative tools: a short online survey questionnaire made accessible through Facebook, which allows the obtaining of quantitative primary data, and the qualitative analysis of the Facebook Likes (215,232) of the survey participants (n=1,437). Results. The analysis shows that three risk groups (high, medium, low) can be differentiated among participants based on their driving patterns under the influence of alcohol and drugs and on the basis of the life styles, which they reflect through theirFacebookLikes, and of classical structural variables. In particular, the high-risk group exhibits preferences and tastes that are closer to social discontent and resistance, and it is the group with the lowest educational level and the highest rate of casual employment. Conclusions. This research study shows the usefulness of social networks in the socio-demographic and cultural characterisation of risk groups, which must be a preliminary step to the design and dissemination of prevention and awareness-raising campaigns.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Consumption; Facebook; Likes; Sociocultural model; Road safety
Subjects:Social sciences > Sociology > Social research
Social sciences > Information science > Internet
ID Code:42396
Deposited On:27 Apr 2017 11:21
Last Modified:27 Apr 2017 11:21

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