Editorial

The electronic version of the first number of the sixteenth edition of the review Our Society (Naše společnost). Our Society issues Center for Public Opinion Research, Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

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Three Generations of Methods for Measuring Corruption in Europe

This article focuses on methods for measuring corruption, first describing three generations of corruption indicators and then comparing them qualitatively and quantitatively. Corruption is a clandestine activity that is extremely difficult to measure; there are no official statistics on the number of corruption cases. For this reason, corruption can only be measured indirectly, by various proxies, and it is extremely hard to state whether these indicators are reliable and indeed measure the corruption phenomena in a given country. A large number of different indicators have been developed over the years that try to capture and quantify corruption. Some authors measure perceptions of corruption, others try to use “hard data” to explore the level of corruption in a country, and even others combine different measurements, weight them, and then publish composite indicators to capture the overall level of corruption in a country.

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Homogamy and the Internet: Can Online Dating Sites Help Us Understand Assortative Mating?

Non-random selection of reproductive partners in the human population, i.e. assortative mating, has been a stable occurrence for decades and across societies, including the Czech Republic. Social sciences have paid primary attention to homogamy, marriage between similar partners, also due to its potential impact on society. High levels of homogamy in a society may imply high closedness of the different groups, prevent social mobility, suggest racial tensions, or lead to higher inequality.

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Big Data as an Alternative to Surveys in Quantitative Social Research

The goal of this article is to inform social scientists, especially those of a quantitative orientation, about the basic characteristics of Big Data and to present the opportunities and limitations of using such data in social research. The paper informs about three basic types of Big Data as they are distinguished in contemporary methodological literature, namely administrative data, transaction data and social network data, and exemplifies how they can be utilized by quantitative social research. According to many, questionnaire-based sample survey as the dominant method of quantitative social research has found itself in a crisis, especially as response rates have decreased in most developed countries and public confidence in opinion polling has declined.

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