9th April 2009 at 11:49 pm #6227
I am a social researcher who uses social network analysis mapping and software as a tool fof social research and evaluation projects. I run a training course on social network research and network analysis and teach an undergraduate course on social networks.
As this description indicates I treat the questions of research methods and methodology for investigating human/social networks and networking seperately from the techniques of network analysis. The champions of SNA (signalled by the use of the acronym) tend to begin from such network (data) analysis. SNA models are interesting and important. They offer many ‘solutions in search of a problem’, but also lots of valuable analytic methods, suggestions and insights. The recent influx of physicists and biologists working with models of ‘small world’ and ‘scale-free’ networks are plowing the same row (even deeper).
Social researchers do not start from the specification of models and the jump to (data) analysis that network analysis makes. We are more interested in collecting the variety of data that social research methods provide. Some of this data is amenable to analysis using SNA techniques and software – some is not. Conversely, SNA techniques suggest methods of data collection (for network analysis) that are not commonly used in social research.
In signing in to methodspace the only options for signalling my interests were: quant, qual, mixed methods and evaluation. There is no place for me to signal my primary interest.
Is it appropriate to add social network analysis to the list of options or, given the difficulties I have outlined, should the list remain as is and explore other possibilities for its location in the framework of this website?
Cheers, Malcolm10th April 2009 at 1:40 pm #6233Connie T. EnglandParticipant
I am interested in learning more about social network analysis. Do tagmemics fall under this category? Connie England10th April 2009 at 10:13 pm #6232Berkay OzcanParticipant
Malcolm, would you like to start a group on it and promote it? I believe there are many people who would be interested in group on SNA.11th April 2009 at 12:18 am #6231
Dear Connie, You will have to tell me something about tagmemics. It is a new term for me. Cheers, Malcolm11th April 2009 at 12:19 am #6230
I do intend to start a group sometime. I thought I would get some ideas from this discussion first. Cheers, Malcolm.12th April 2009 at 7:36 am #6229
I looked up tagmemics. As I read the descriptions it is a technique derived from linguistics and aims to look at networks of meanings.
There is an interesting computer program for qualitative textual analysis that uses co-occurences of words to make out higher order concepts (and metaconcepts) in a text. It is called Leximancer (Google it). This applies some of the techniques used in social network analysis but it is not directly associated with SNA in any way.
M.4th August 2012 at 11:43 am #6228Wilma GarvinParticipant
I have definitely thought that this was an interesting area since I first read Rob Cross’ work in this area. I encourage people to think about their own social networks when they are considering how effectively they are working within their own organisations as well as understanding power and politics in organisations through other people’s social networks.
All the best
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