A Comprehensive Database of Social Science Tweets

Awarded Scholars:
Kevin Munger, Pennsylvania State University
James Bisbee , Princeton University
Project Date:
Jun 2020
Award Amount:
$10,000

The widespread adoption of the internet and social media has upended many knowledge industries, but the impact on various forms of professional, social and economic inequality is unknown. Increased access could increase participation outside of existing hierarchies, but the centralizing tendency of online networks could exacerbate inequality. The principal investigatorsĀ propose to extend their study of #PoliSci Twitter (their database of political science faculty at PhD-granting instutions) to include sociology, psychology and economics, as well as graduate students and faculty at other American institutions. They will then extend their descriptive network analysis by gender, ideology and career stage. They will also answer several novel questions. Is there an ideological "spiral of silence"---do academics with more popular political beliefs tweet more often? Is inequality in Twitter attention between higher- and lower-ranked institutions (or between graduate students and tenured faculty) worse than for traditional metrics?

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