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Social Network Analysis

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Victoria Charanza

on 23 April 2014

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Transcript of Social Network Analysis

Social Network Analysis is often used in business. Maps, like the one seen above, are used to show the flow of information or resources between differnt groups.
History of Social Network Analysis
roads structure the flow of resources between cities, just as relationships structure the flow of resources in a social environment
Overview of the reading:
Strong, close connections between network members promote free exchange of information among network members. Relationships indicate what information is being exchanged, between whom, and to what extent.

Key Themes:
1) How Social Network Analysis is used to explore an actor's network.
2) How information is exchanged.
Haythornthwaite, C. (1996)
Social Network Analysis
Victoria Charanza, Scott Barnett,
Nate Champion, Cole Wesolick

New ways of accessing information
Network Principles
•Structural equivalence
Haythornthwaite, C. (1996)
Haythornthwaite, C. (1996)
Measurement techniques
•Sociogram - graphs of social networks
•Centralization -extent to which a set of actors are organized around a central point.
•Density- Information can be expected to flow more freely among members of a higher density than a lower density network.
•Cluster, clique - group and subgroups of highly interconnected actors.
•Centrality - measures structural equivalence. Can be measured by counting the number of relationships maintained by each actor in a network. In a graph this can be done by counting the number of lines into or out of a particular node.
•Betweenness- measures brokerage. Measures the extent to which an agent can play a "gatekeeper" with potential control over others.
Information exchange

Social Network analysis is the examination of information and resource exchange between different "actors" in a social network (group).

"Actors" can be an individual, group, organization, or institution.

Resources include (but are not limited to) goods, services, money, information, social capital, and influence.
Analysis of social networks with great focus on the relationships between people, instead of individual characteristics.
Actors and their actions are viewed as interdependent
Relational ties between actors are channels for transfer or flow of resources
Focuses on patterns of resource exchange relationships using empirical observation
Contributions & Critiques

Provides an approach and set of techniques for studying information
Through analyzing processes of information exchange we can now improve the transfer of information and resources
Can acquire explanatory value for the research of social movements, and is now being implemented by law enforcement to aid in the investigation process.


Lacks the tools to explain the motivations of actors and the meaning of the relations they establish and maintain (or neglect and fail)
Sociograms ignore conventional notions of distance and spatial arrangement.
•Social Network Analysis is used to convict a landlord who did not meet housing standards, and continually side-stepped the law. This example underscores the relatedness between the people involved in the crime and how they were caught.
Public Sphere
Allows us to view how individuals interact with society at large. Citizens come together and debate issues of present society.

Columbia School
SNA is connected to this school because it developed the empirical approach to social research that SNA uses, and the Colombia School developed the 'content analysis' as a tool.

Propaganda and Communication Studies
Harold D. Lasswell's Transmission Model
(Who says what? By which channel? To whom? With what effect? )
1930's- Jacob L. Moreno created the idea of "sociometry" and "sociogram"

By the mid 1930's and the early 1940's, "Sociometry" was a major research field

1950's- Social Anthropologist from the University of Manchester studied the division and conflict between the African and European communities

1960's- Harrison White lead a research team to developed a formal method for Social Network Analysis

Everyone and everything is 6 or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world.


Carrington, Peter J.; Scott, John. Social Network Analysis. The Sage Handbook. Retrieved from: http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=2chSmLzClXgC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=history+of+social+network+analysis&ots=GSVeR1rExz&sig=GmM7z11ZSLQZNOJTOXL0TeIO0lY#v=onepage&q=history%20of%20social%20network%20analysis&f=false

Haythornthwaite, C. (1996). Social network analysis: An approach and technique for the study of information exchange. Library and Infor¬mation Science Research, 18, 323-342. Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0740818896900031

Wasserman, Stanley. (1994). Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from : http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=CAm2DpIqRUIC&oi=fnd&pg=PR21&dq=social+network+analysis+limitations&ots=HuOstbZESb&sig=0lsAMUA_EDu8anWQcwoLatjLuII#v=onepage&q=social%20network%20analysis%20limitations&f=false

John, Scott. (1988) Social Network Analysis Report. British Sociological Association. Retrieved from: http://soc.sagepub.com/content/22/1/109.full.pdf

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