Focus on… Gilles Bastin (IEP Grenoble - PACTE)

on the July 9, 2018

Gilles Bastin is a Professor of sociology at the School for Political Studies (Univ. Grenoble Alpes). He co-heads the Data Institute’s work package 4 on « Data Science, Social Media and Social Sciences ». The aim of this work package is to analyze social structures in innovative ways using data from social networks and new data science methods. It is typically the kind of interdisciplinary projects that the Data Institute is fostering.
In sociology, a lot of research is conducted using interviews and surveys. However, it is very striking to observe that people tend to be less and less inclined to respond to those two kinds of ways we are used to ask them about their social habits, opinions, professional activities, etc. In the meantime they put a lot of data online on privately run platforms. The data that are stored on those platforms are thus very promising for sociologists looking at the way contemporary societies function.

twitterGilles Bastin is coordinating research conducted by various colleagues using data from Twitter, LinkedIn, Blablacar and other social media in strong relationship with Jean-Marc Francony, who developed expert tools to gather those data and Sophie Kuegler, a newly recruited data scientist at the Data institute). He is personally engaged in the 32M Tweets project that aims at using a very large database of geolocalized Tweets in France in order to identify how social contexts influence the fact of tweeting. This project addresses questions such as the link between social and political participation on one side and participation to the twittosphere on the other, the effect of surrounding economic activity, poverty rate or population characteristics on the fact of tweeting in local communities.

Watch his intervention about “Social, political and environmental determinants of Twitter use in France” during the  “Data Science in the Alps” workshop :


Gilles is also working on the analysis of large careers datasets extracted from LinkedIn. With colleagues from the Federal University of Santa Catarina and Leicester University he has begun a new research on the effects of labor markets flexibilization on careers in the media industry in three countries (France, the United Kingdom and Brazil). Sophie Kuegler, the engineer working with him, is now collecting the data for this project. Learn more about this research in a next “Focus on” .

Published on August 28, 2018