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Trending #hijabfashion: Using Big Data to Study Religion at the Online–Urban Interface
Abstract and Figures
This article discusses the potential and the limitations of big data analysis for the study of religion. While big data analysis is often perceived as overtly positivistic because of its quantitative and computational nature, we argue instead that it lends itself to an induc-tive approach. Since the data are typically not collected for the purpose of testing specific hypotheses, it can best be seen as a resource for serendipitous exploration. We therefore pose a number of substantive research questions regarding the global circulation and local mediation of sartorial styles and practices among Muslim women. We present an analysis of the #hijabfashion hashtag on Instagram, drawing on a database of 15 million posts.
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