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Using semiotics to analyze representational complexity in social media

Abstract : Data from social media offer us multimedia data brimming with multiple layers of meanings. Social media enable rapid-fire digital communications. These communications are incredibly complex in content, form and meaning. This representational complexity is a stumbling block in data analysis that stands in the way of deeper explanations. These unstructured data, rich in social meanings, are as complex as the phenomena they represent. While it is possible to formulate an entire research methodology around semiotics, it is not always necessary. We can adapt semiotic analysis within existing methodologies. This paper offers and illustrates an analytical technique to address representational complexity that can be used in conjunction with other methodologies such as case study, ethnography, etc. This analytical technique espouses a critical realist philosophy to develop much needed, deeper explanations from qualitative data.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 16, 2020 - 3:32:26 PM
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Christine Abdalla Mikhaeil, Richard Baskerville. Using semiotics to analyze representational complexity in social media. Information and Organization, Elsevier, 2019, 29 (4), pp.100271. ⟨10.1016/j.infoandorg.2019.100271⟩. ⟨hal-02509212⟩



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