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Online Reception Analysis: Big Data in Qualitative Marketing Research

Consumer Culture Theory

ISBN: 978-1-78441-158-9, eISBN: 978-1-78441-157-2

Publication date: 22 November 2014



The purpose of this paper is to forward an extension of reception analysis as a way to incorporate and give insight to social media mediations and big data in a qualitative marketing perspective. We propose a research method that focuses on discursive developments in consumer debates for example on YouTube – a large-scale open-access social media platform – as opposed to the closed and tightknit communities investigated by netnography.


Online reception analysis


Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, we find that big data can enrich online reception analyses by showing new aspects of weak tie online networks and consumers meaning making.

Research limitations/implications

The potential of online reception analysis is to encompass a discursive perspective on consumer interactions on large-scale open-access social media and to be able to analyze socialities that do not represent shared cultures but are more representative of transitory everyday interactions.

Originality/value of paper

Our method contributes to the current focus to define levels of analysis beyond research centered on individuals and individual interactions within groups to investigate other larger socialities. Further, our method also contributes by incorporating and investigating the mediatization of interaction that social media contributes with and therefore our methods actively work with the possibilities of social media. Hence, by extending the advances made by netnography into online spaces, online reception analysis can potentially inform the current status of big data research with a sociocultural methodological perspective.



Knudsen, G.H. and Kjeldgaard, D. (2014), "Online Reception Analysis: Big Data in Qualitative Marketing Research", Consumer Culture Theory (Research in Consumer Behavior, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 217-242.



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