Information Technology and Sociological Research
New digital information and communication technologies, best represented by the Internet, are changing every aspect of our life; this is a revolution, a remaking of the society and thus, a reconstruction in social sciences. Information technology (IT) provides global databases for social scientists and is used in sociology for conducting research, analyzing data and presenting results.
The IT has also raised a number of new research issues for social scientists; virtual groups, cyberculture, and digital divid ,for instance. Rapid expansion of the Internet has provided a global communication system, and this system is changing the nature of cultural, social, political and economic relations.
Thank to IT and not surprisingly, there has been rapid growth in the number of e-publications are designed to help sociologists to understand IT and fully utilize in sociological research. Sociologists cannot ignore the edge that IT can give them in their research; statistical packages (e.g. SPSS), cyber collaboration, online methodological consultation, global data archives and …
IT literacy is a core skill for sociologists in the information era. As a result sociologists need to be updated of new IT products applicable in sociological research and practice. IT makes e-materials publishable and accessible in a real time. IT can be used in social sciences curricula to enhance both computer literacy and education. For example, graphics packages enable sociologists to present statistical findings in an attractive and easy-to-understand manner besides teaching the software use at the same time.