Digital China Research in Social Sciences – webinar

Digital China Research in Social Sciences - webinar

CHERN and the Finnish University Network for Asian Studies organized a Webinar on Digital China Research in Social Sciences. The webinar is part of the Training School that CHERN will organize in 2022.

This webinar served as an introduction to the use of digital methods in Chinese Studies. It is intended for scholars who have little if any knowledge about those methods. The first presentation discusses a number of key issues that need to be considered when planning a digital project. The second session introduces often-used data science methods.

Ask a Question that Can Be Answered: Reflections on Doing Digital Social Research 
Associate Professor Jun Liu, Department of Communication, University of Copenhagen

The widespread adoption of digital technologies have given rise to a new combination of (big) data and digital, or computational methods, which allows for massive data collection and sophisticated computational modeling in researching and analyzing social, political, and cultural phenomena. Yet, the development of these digital methods not only provides exciting opportunities to re-invigorate social research, but also poses new challenges for researchers to harvest, handle, process, manipulate, and interpret social, psychological, and behavioral data. This talk will address some issues in doing digital social research, such as the digital nature of data (i.e., data have been collected from digital platforms) and data ethics. By doing so, the talk sheds light on issues and potential pitfalls we should keep in mind when doing digital social research.

Researching Social Unrest in China: a Data Science Toolkit
Professor Christian Göbel, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna

What types of protests occur in China every day, and where do they occur? Are they spaced out evenly throughout the year, or do they display seasonal patterns? What factors are associated with the repression of protests?

This talk introduces some tools that can be used to answer these questions. It explains how to scrape data from a website and store it in a relational database, preprocess Chinese text for analysis, use supervised and unsupervised learning to classify textual sources, perform descriptive and inferential statistics, and visualize the results on a map of China.

This webinar is part of the CHERN Training School activities and it is arranged in cooperation with the Finnish University Network for Asian Studies with funding from Joel Toivola Foundation.


Date and time: 19 November 2021 at 9:00-10:30 CET

See a recording of the webinar below. A timeline of the main topics is available in the description of the video and you can jump to specific sections using the progress bar.

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