MS2015-02: Cultural capital mining

posted Sep 4, 2015, 6:01 AM by Marco Spruit   [ updated Dec 8, 2015, 5:43 AM ]
Increasingly, online interactions are used to facilitate transactions between private individuals who are otherwise strangers to each other, such as in peer-to-peer trading in the blooming "sharing economy", but also in online dating. Arguably, the way one presents him or herself (e.g., on profile pages) in such interactions is more important than ever, as participants need to signal their trustworthiness and social status to their interaction partners. Sociological theory suggests that cultural capital would play an important role in this process, but measuring the use of cultural capital in online contexts remains a challenge.

In collaboration with the department of Sociology we aim to discover the extent of the applicability in analysing onlines profiles (i.e. informal text) using text mining techniques to help determine an author's socio-economial status and other social variables. This may involve lexical, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic variations to uncover the concept of cultural capital. Data and some code are available for OKCupid and AirBnB, among others.