Abstract - The Information Society 21(4)

Internet Research and the Sociology of Cyber-Social-Scientific Knowledge

Christine Hine

Perspectives from the sociology of scientific knowledge are deployed to explore the birth of Internet Research, focusing in particular on the development of methodological approaches. For a researcher based in the sociology of scientific knowledge, being an Internet Researcher has been a vivid opportunity to experience at first-hand a phenomenon usually studied from the outside. The paper begins by assessing some models of the process of scientific change. Characterizing Internet Research as new has been a potent resource for enrolling researchers into the field and positioning research responses. The development of virtual methods for doing social research illustrates the process of methodological innovation in social science and the negotiation of methodological adequacy. Methodological discussions have been enlivened by the advent of the Internet as an object of study. Internet Research has arguably been a valuable reflexive opportunity for the traditional disciplines which have fed its development.


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