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Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2024

Integrating digital traces into mixed methods designs

Manuel Moussallam
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We present a mixed methods research design that integrates individual-level traces of online content consumption with survey and interview data, all collected from the same sample of tens of thousands of people. We explain how the pairwise combination of these information sources solves methodological puzzles often encountered when measuring cultural practices and preferences. We provide a concrete illustration for the case of music listening on streaming platforms, and show that survey respondents and non-respondents do not stream the same music. We illustrate how the mixed data collected make it feasible to infer the social properties of non-respondents, and hence to assess bias in studies based exclusively on self-reported survey data. We provide empirical evidence that unlimited access to all kinds of recorded music on platforms does not blur the social boundaries between repertoires, and we show that artists have distinct audiences whose differences are more than generational or gender-based, but also encompass differences in educational attainment. Finally we describe how we used digital traces in individual interviews to foster spontaneous expressions of aesthetic judgments, which are known to be challenging to collect. We conclude by discussing potential applications of these results in the field of cultural sociology, and the feasibility of adopting similar experimental designs to investigate other social phenomena.
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hal-04448365 , version 1 (09-02-2024)




Yann Renisio, Amélie Beaumont, Jean-Samuel Beuscart, Samuel Coavoux, Philippe Coulangeon, et al.. Integrating digital traces into mixed methods designs: An application to the study of online music listening using survey, interview and stream history data collected from the same people. 2024. ⟨hal-04448365⟩
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