Virtual SODAS Data Discussion w/ Jonas Toubøl & Anna Sapienza

Data discussion. Green colour in water

Copenhagen Center for Social Data Science (SODAS), is pleased to announce that we are continuing with SODAS Data Discussions this spring.

SODAS aspirers to be a resource for all students and researchers at the Faculty of Social Sciences. We therefor invite researchers across the faculty to present ongoing research projects, project applications or just a loose idea that relates to the subject of social data science.

Every month two researchers will present their work. The rules are simple: short research presentations of ten minutes are followed by twenty minutes of debate. No papers will be circulated beforehand, and the presentations cannot be longer than five slides.

Postdoc at Department of Sociology, Jonas Toubøl, will present their work. Jonas Toubøl is a Postdoc at Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, where he also obtained his PhD on the mobilization of the Danish refugee solidarity movement. His research interests covers political sociology, social stratification and mixed methods research designs, especially social movements, and class, as well as triangulation of social media content data with, survey, qualitative and other data sources. Jonas Toubøl is followed by Anna Sapienza, who is a newly hired Postdoc at SODAS/DISTRACT.

Jonas Toubøl: Bringing Social Context back in: Enriching Survey with Measures of Social Interaction from Social Media Content Data

This talk present research carried out in collaboration with Hjalmar Bang Carlsen and Snorre Ralund that addresses the classical problem in survey methodology of measuring respondent context. We demonstrate the utility of combining individual survey data with social media content data in order to analyze how social context influences individual behavior. Lack of valid and reliable measures of the contexts of social interaction individuals are embedded in has remained an Achilles heel of the survey method. The reason is that collection of direct observation of social interaction requires qualitative analysis of the context, which, hitherto, is too costly to collect on a large scale. Instead, researchers have resorted to indirect measures of aggregate group composition, respondent reports of social context and institutional accounts. However, with the recent advent of social media data, contemporary social scientists have social interaction data at an unprecedented scale. To utilize this data for quantitative analysis researchers have to transform text prose into good measurement. We combine qualitative content analysis and supervised machine learning in order to insure both semantic validity and accuracy in our measure of social interaction and test its substantial performance in predicting individual political participation in collective action. Finally, the talk also addresses how contexts and individuals can be effectively sampled using Facebook groups.

Carlsberg Foundation funded Toubøl's research as part of the project Mobilization in the era of social media: Introducing the decisive role of group level factors.

Anna Sapienza: Escape from Covid Island: how online gaming is becoming our getaway from the pandemic.

The last few months of social-distancing have forced all of us to escape from the self-isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by finding new and innovative ways of gathering and socialising. Among all these activities there is one that is attracting more and more people every day: online gaming. This is an extraordinary moment for games, which have become even more popular as people are re-discovering their favourite games to make up for the loss of physical entertainment that self-isolation is causing. The gaming industry has indeed recorded a staggering boost in the online activity of players from all over the world. In this talk, I will present a preliminary study based on Steam, a well-known video game digital distribution service by Valve. Thanks to Steam’s open API, its up-to-date community news and several third-party tools, that track the activity of players online, we can have a close look at what happened during the lockdown. The main goal is to understand what are the different patterns of activity and identify the games that had a key role in the rise of online gaming.

The SODAS Data Discussion will take place at SODAS in Zoom from 11.00 am to 12.00 noon.

If you want to attend the event or just want to know more, please write Sophie Smitt Sindrup Grønning at