Document Type : Original Research Paper
1 Associate Professor of Tourism Management, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran
2 Ph.D Candidate of Tourism Management, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran
The utopia promised by the modern age has not arrived, man, as a response to his failure in realizing modernism's ideals, attempted to create a parallel virtual world. Living in this virtual parallel world resulted in creation of billions of digital footprints in a fraction of a second and the emergence of Big Data. Following the transformation in human social life and social researchers' better access to complex social realities in the presence of Big Data, a fundamental shift in the current social research landscape is required. One of the biggest concerns of today's scientific community is revolving around this shift, they wonder to what degree the traditional scientific method might still be relevant in the era of Big Data. Are we on the verge of a paradigm shift in social science? Has theory, as the building block of the modern science, reached its end? This study seeks to answer these two fundamental questions with an interdisciplinary approach in mind, through systematic review of scientific documents published in the period of 2009-2021, several relevant studies across the philosophy of science and data and social science disciplines have been identified and reviewed. After critically reviewing the ongoing scholarly debate, this study argues against the claim that Big Data is the end of theory in science and conclude that Big Data inherently transforms social science research and a transition to a new paradigm is under way.
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