Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2011

Social network analysis has been one of the fastest growing and most influential areas of recent times. Why has this happened? What are the key features of social network analysis?

This sparkling Handbook offers an unrivalled resource. Systematically, it introduces readers to the key concepts, substantive topics, central methods, and prime debates. Among the specific areas covered are: Network theory; Interdisciplinary applications; Online networks; Corporate networks; Lobbying networks; Deviant networks; Measuring devices; Key Methodologies; Software applications

The result is a peerless resource for teachers and students. It offers a critical survey of the origins, basic issues and major debates. Instead of consulting a variety of books and journal articles, the Handbook offers a one-stop guide that will be used by readers for decades to come.

Chapter 1: Introduction


Peter J.Carrington and JohnScott

The SAGE Handbook of Social Network Analysis is the first published attempt to present, in a single volume, an overview of the social network analysis paradigm. It includes accounts of the history, theory and methods of social network analysis, and a comprehensive review of its application to the various substantive areas of work in which cutting-edge research is taking place. We do not intend to repeat in this Introduction the ideas to be found in the various individual chapters, but it is important to provide a brief introduction to the discussions that follow.1

The Development of Social Network Analysis

The date at which researchers on social structure began to explicitly use the idea of a ‘social network’ is difficult to determine with any ...

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