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.

Qualitative Approaches

Qualitative approaches


From the outset, network research has made use of qualitative data, less structured approaches to data collection, and interpretive methods in describing and analyzing social networks. In the 1950s and 1960s, British social anthropologists conducted ethnographic community studies on class structures in small Norwegian island parishes (Barnes, 1954), networks in Central African towns (Mitchell, 1969), and also personal networks in their own country (Bott, 1957). Roethlisberger and Dickson's (1939) seminal study of the Western Electric Company, a pathbreaking contribution to organization research, adopted an explorative, interpretive, and inductive approach geared toward openness and responsiveness for what was happening in the work teams under study. Besides experiments, they mostly relied on participant observation at the workplace and nondirective interviewing. The concepts developed in ...

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