Social Network Research Methodology

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Social Network Analysis as Research Methodology Social Network Analysis is an interdisciplinary research programme which helps in predicting the structures of relationships among social entities as well as impact of said structure on the other social phenomenon. The essential elements of this programme are built around some core concepts and methods for the measurement, representation and analysis of social structure. A social network is a set of actors (points, nodes or agents) that may have relationships (or ties) with one another. A network can have one or more actors and there can be one or more kinds of relations between pair of actors. Scientists in the social network field use specialized jargon and notation. Much of this is borrowed…show more content…
The first true formulation of social network analysis was taken seriously in the American social psychology of the 1930s. Moreno developed ‘sociometry’ and drew ‘sociograms’ as a method in which lines between points represented the friendship choices made by the people represented by the points. Social Network Analysis started with a desire to know more about the properties of the networks of social relations. It offered a new way of looking at the old problems and a different perspective for forming powerful theoretical concepts. Characteristics of Social Network Analysis 1. Social network analysis is an approach that allows researchers to document, represent, and analyze the impact of relationship patterns. 2. The Communication Infrastructure approach is based on understanding how networks of residents, organizations, and media in the community interact. 3. Dependence on secondary data (like publicly available records) or primary data (where you collect your own information about connections) to conduct this analysis. 4. Network analysis looks at the relationship between two basic components - nodes (people, organizations, documents) and ties (relationships, affiliations,…show more content…
It is useful for looking at kinship patterns, community structure, and interlocking directorships and so forth. As per John Scott (2000), ‘Social Network analysis is appropriate for ‘relational data’, and that techniques developed for other types of data are likely to be of limited value for research which generates data of this kind’. Relational data are the contacts, ties and connections, the group attachments and meanings, which relate one agent to another and so cannot be reduced to the properties of the individual agents themselves. Attribute data relate to the attitudes, opinions and behavior of agents, in so far as these are regarded as the properties, qualities or characteristics that belong to them as individuals or groups. In attribute based research, interpersonal relationships between variables is important. (Scott,
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