Amir Goldberg – Culture Mining:
How Can We Use the Internet to Open the Black Box We Call ‘Culture’?

CITP Luncheon Series

Date: Thursday, December 3, 2009
Time: 12:30 -1:30 pm
Location: 306 Sherrerd Hall
Food and discussion begins at 12:30 pm. Everyone invited.

Culture presents a fundamental puzzle for social scientists. We all know culture when we see it, yet there remains great disagreement on how it should be analytically defined, and even more so, measured. The abundance of data that have been made accessible through the internet provides new possibilities for addressing this challenge. From collaborative filtering to folksonomies and social networking websites, the web introduces promising ways of getting a bird’s eye view of what people collectively think and do. These rely on innovative data mining techniques, and depend on interdisciplinary collaboration between social and computer scientists.


Amir Goldberg is a fourth year graduate student at the sociology department in Princeton University. His work is concerned with problems relating to cultural sociology, and particularly to developing methods that use network analysis for measuring culture in large and dynamic datasets. In his dissertation he is comparatively examining the co-evolutionary dynamics of social interaction and cultural emergence in an online music community and a financial investment social networking website. Prior to joining Princeton, Amir worked as a software programmer and an IT consultant. He holds a BA in computer science and film from Tel Aviv University, and an MA in sociology from Goldsmiths College, University of London.

CITP studies digital technologies in public life. It is a joint venture of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Woodrow Wilson School.