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 7: Relational Sociology, Culture, and Agency
Relational Sociology, Culture, and Agency
One of the debates surrounding social network analysis has been whether it consists of a method or a theory. Is network analysis merely a cluster of techniques for analyzing the structure of social relationships, or does it constitute a broader conceptual framework, theoretical orientation, or even philosophy of life? In an article two decades ago synthesizing emerging work on social networks, Barry Wellman argued that network analysis goes beyond methodology to inform a new theoretical paradigm: “structural analysis does not derive its power from the partial application of this concept or that measure. It is a comprehensive paradigmatic way of taking social structure seriously by studying directly how patterns of ties allocate resources in a social ...