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Journal Articles Quantitative Science Studies Year : 2020

Beyond networks: Aligning qualitative and computational science studies


This article examines the thorny issue of the relationship (or lack thereof) between qualitative and quantitative approaches in Science and Technology Studies (STS). Although quantitative methods, broadly understood, played an important role in the beginnings of STS, these two approaches subsequently strongly diverged, leaving an increasing gap that only a few scholars have tried to bridge. After providing a short overview of the origins and development of quantitative analyses of textual corpora, we critically examine the state of the art in this domain. Focusing on the availability of advanced network structure analysis tools and Natural Language Processing workflows, we interrogate the fault lines between the increasing offer of computational tools in search of possible uses and the conceptual specifications of STS scholars wishing to explore the epistemic and ontological dimensions of techno-scientific activities. Finally, we point to possible ways to overcome the tension between ethnographic descriptions and quantitative methods while continuing to avoid the dichotomies (social/cognitive, organizing/experimenting) that STS has managed to discard
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hal-03895618 , version 1 (13-12-2022)





Alberto Cambrosio, Jean-Philippe Cointet, Alexandre Hannud Abdo. Beyond networks: Aligning qualitative and computational science studies. Quantitative Science Studies, 2020, 1 (3), pp.1017-1024. ⟨10.1162/qss_a_00055⟩. ⟨hal-03895618⟩
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