The New York Times this morning had a nice story “How Not to Drown in Numbers” about big and small data written by social scientists who’ve worked for Google and Facebook, respectively. The article is good news for both qualitative and quantitative social scientists, and all of us in-between. Numbers are indeed important, but they are not everything. Interpreting data is still about the capacity to reason and interpret data—it is just that there is a lot more of it out there than before the internet age. In other words, there will be no shortage of work in coming decades for sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists or others among us!
Published by Tony Waters
Tony Waters is czar and editor of Ethnography.com. He came to us from the Sociology department at California State University at Chico where he has been a professor since 1996. In 2016 though he suddenly found himself with a new gig at Payap University in northern Thailand where he is on the faculty of the Peace Studies Department. He has also been a guest professor in Germany, and Tanzania. In the past, his main interests have been international development and refugees in Thailand, Tanzania, and California. This reflects a former career in the Peace Corps (Thailand), and refugee camps (Thailand and Tanzania). His books include: Crime and Immigrant Youth (1999), Bureaucratizing the Good Samaritan (2001), The Persistence of Subsistence Agriculture: Life Beneath of the Marketplace (2007), When Killing is a Crime (2007), and Schooling, Bureaucracy, and Childhood: Bureaucratizing the Child (2012). His hobby is trying to learn strange languages–and the mistakes that that implies. Tony is a prolific academic, you can read more of his work at academia.edu.or purchase one (or more!) of his books from Amazon.com. View all posts by Tony Waters