Know any good spots for social network analysis methods advice?
August 31, 2011 5:09 AM Subscribe
Where can a fellow (who has access to online academic resources but is 1000mi+ from a quality academic library) get some hands-on advice for gathering data for social network analysis? Bonus substantive questions inside.
posted by col_pogo to science & nature (7 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I'm off on an extended period of ethnographic fieldwork and would like to use some basic social network analysis to round out my picture of the various institutions I'm researching. SNA is not my primary research method--I want to use it as a heuristic, pointing my interviews and participant observation in unexpected directions, or allowing me to check conclusions from more purely qualitative work.
I figured I could pick this stuff up pretty quickly, which may have been a mistake. What I would like is a good place to 1) learn some practical basics with software (UCINET has been recommended to me, and I will be going through their tutorial) and 2) get a grip on how I should collect my data. I figured there might be an appropriate forum or listserv out there whose archives and hivebrain I could rummage through, but googling hasn't helped me much.
Two substantive questions:
1. It was suggested to me that I could get a good handle on the connections between individuals in the scattering of institutions that I'm interested in by requesting CVs. I could then easily see where people had overlapped at different times in their work histories. Sounds good, but I haven't happened across examples (or better yet, tutorials) of how to go about this. I don't want to reinvent the wheel if I don't have to.
2. I gather it's also a standard method to elicit networks from interview respondents ("Please tell me who you've been in touch with in the past two weeks" etc). Also sounds good to me, and easy to incorporate into my interview schedules--but how do I turn this into a network visualization?
Links to fora, listservs, academic papers, websites, online tutorials and so forth are very welcome. Books, too, but I might have trouble getting my hands on them. While I retain my home institution online access, there are no good physical libraries anywhere near me.