Accepted Paper:

Socio-semantic dynamics for digital humanities: Methodology and epistemology of large textual corpora analysis  


Marc Barbier (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique)
Jean-Philippe Cointet

Paper long abstract:

Until recent time, the description, light-modeling and interpretation of socio-cognitive dynamics of science-society relations and social media relationships required a constructivist approach, involving collecting, reading, classifying and interpreting tasks performed by scholars examining sets of digital data (texts, archives, structured databases, websites, blogs, etc.). The growing mass of data produced in the so-called Knowledge Society owes a lot to the acceleration and profusion of digital tools that are now widely used in different areas of human activities: work, culture, leisure, political expression, etc. Social scientists now largely acknowledge that the various modes of interaction brought by new information and communication technologies are changing the very nature of micro-politics and the expression of the self. In our views the conditions for producing knowledge in social sciences and humanities more widely are changed too. New digital infrastructures specifically designed for social sciences and humanities make it possible to equip scientists with tools that enable them to tackle the complexity of heterogeneous textual corpora dynamics and to develop innovative analytical methodologies that will bring new insights and renewed capacities to investigate contemporary issues. The aim of this communication is to propose (1) to discuss some of the epistemic problems that surge from the use of digital platforms ambitioning the development of our capacities of enquiry of knowledge production in society; (2) to present the main developments and experience that had been led within the CorTexT plateform as well as their driving principles.

Panel G1
The development of digital tools in STS and digital humanities: Watching, muddling through and reflexivity