Digital futures? Sociological challenges and opportunities in the emergent semantic web

Halford, Susan, Pope, Catherine and Weal, Mark J. (2012) Digital futures? Sociological challenges and opportunities in the emergent semantic web Sociology, 47, (1), pp. 173-189. (doi:10.1177/0038038512453798).


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In the context of recent debates about the ‘data deluge’ and the future of empirical sociology,this article turns attention to current activities aimed at achieving far-reaching transformations to the World Wide Web. The emergent ‘Semantic Web’ has received little attention in sociology, despite its potentially profound consequences for data. In response to more general recent calls for a critical politics of data we focus our enquiry as follows: first, we explore how sociological analysis of the artefacts and tools that are currently being developed to build a Semantic Web helps us to uncover the potential effects of this ‘next generation’ web on knowledge, data and expertise; and second we consider what a Semantic Web might offer to sociological research. We conclude by considering some implications of multidisciplinary engagement with the Web for the future of sociology.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1177/0038038512453798
ISSNs: 0038-0385 (print)
Keywords: digital data, linked data, semantic web, sociology, world wide web
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Organisations: Web & Internet Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology
ePrint ID: 348265
Date :
Date Event
5 November 2012e-pub ahead of print
February 2013Published
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2013 11:52
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 16:05
Further Information:Google Scholar

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