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Python is one of the most popular programming languages in the data science world, but it is also proving integral to the burgeoning field of computational social science. Find out what attracts social scientists to Python.
If you conduct social science research and you are using Stata, SAS, or SPSS, you might be looking to learn how to use some of the new tools on the block. R and Python are the two popular programming languages used by data analysts and although you could learn both, that would require a significant time investment. So which should you start with? And which one is best for social scientists?
Phillip Brooker is an interdisciplinary researcher in the field of social media analytics, with a background in sociology and sociological research methods. Phillip co-convenes the Programming-as-Social-Science (PaSS) network (www.jiscmail.ac.uk/PaSS) which explores computer programming as a subject and methodological tool for social research and teaching. Phillip is also our social science expert and course instructor on Introduction to Python for Social Scientists. We spoke to him about his background in computational social science and what he’s been working on recently.
When writing code you’ll probably, at some point, want to reuse that code and maybe have someone else be able to read it and use it. So it is important to make sure that the code is readable for both yourself and others. You can achieve this by bearing in mind the 3 rules in this blog post.
We asked Phillip Brooker, an interdisciplinary researcher in the field of social media analytics, and social science expert on Introduction to Python for Social Scientists, for his advice on using data science methods in social science research.
Phillip has background in sociology and sociological research methods, and co-convenes the Programming-as-Social-Science (PaSS) network which explores computer programming as a subject and methodological tool for social research and teaching. So if you’re looking into computational social science, listen up, you’re in good hands!