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The other day I was challenged to do a pitcha kuchi, twenty slide, each slide on for twenty seconds; the entire presentation taking exactly 6 minutes and forty seconds. Taking Wellman, Marin, Wilson and Ronald Burt as my main resources (with a tiny bit of Sloterdijk), I tried to explain what SNA, Social Network Analysis, is all about. Here are the pictures and the texts.

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1. Marin and Wellman say that the starting point of social network analysis is that social life is created by relationship and patterns formed in these relations in which a social network is a set of nodes – say members – that are tied by relations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2. Network analysts take these networks as the primary building blocks of the social world, they not only collect unique types of data, they begin their analyses from a fundamentally different perspective than that adopted by individualist or attribute-based social science.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3. A social network is a set of socially-relevant nodes connected by one or more relations. Nodes, or network members, are the units that are connected by the relations. It is the patterns of these relations we study.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4. Behavior of network members creates particular outcomes. We are all different but share similar behavior when we act in certain groups. So by studying networks we can explain these macro-level behavioral patterns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5. Remember the recent discussion? What is a group, a community, a social network? Michelle Wilson has her own educated thoughts that deal with the positioning of nodes, individuals, their networks and agency, the ability to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Do what? I would say, relate. Social network analysts study patterns of relations, not just relations between pairs of nodes. It is really about the effects of the interaction between nodes, clusters and beyond. I see it as constructions of foam bubbles; amorphous unity.

6. Do what? I would say, relate. Social network analysts study patterns of relations, not just relations between pairs of nodes. It is really about the effects of the interaction between nodes, clusters and beyond. I see it as constructions of foam bubbles; amorphous unity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Social network analysis has become an interdisciplinary area of study and is a thriving research area. Network analysts mainly use two perspective to develop theory: Formalism and Structuralism.

7. Social network analysis has become an interdisciplinary area of study and is a thriving research area. Network analysts mainly use two perspective to develop theory: Formalism and Structuralism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Formalist theories are primarily concerned with describing the mathematical form of social networks. These theories study the effects of forms, insofar as they are effects on the form itself, and the causes of these forms, insofar as they are structural.

8. Formalist theories are primarily concerned with describing the mathematical form of social networks. These theories study the effects of forms, insofar as they are effects on the form itself, and the causes of these forms, insofar as they are structural.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Structuralist theories are concerned with how patterns of relations can shed light on substantive topics within their disciplines. Interpretation is like analyzing a football match: from a to b to c to a to d to e etcetera; it is a fluid structure.

9. Structuralist theories are concerned with how patterns of relations can shed light on substantive topics within their disciplines. Interpretation is like analyzing a football match: from a to b to c to a to d to e etcetera; it is a fluid structure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. In any case, the question is whether SNA  provides answers to questions like: should relations within and between classes matter, should relations between organizations matter, and do health-related and -influencing relations matter?

10. In any case, the question is whether SNA provides answers to questions like: should relations within and between classes matter, should relations between organizations matter, and do health-related and -influencing relations matter?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Some researchers ask what kinds of social networks lead to particular outcomes. These outcomes may include finding a job, a promotion, catching a cold, or what have we. They are Looking at network causes of phenomenon of interest.

11. Some researchers ask what kinds of social networks lead to particular outcomes. These outcomes may include finding a job, a promotion, catching a cold, or what have we. They are Looking at network causes of phenomenon of interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. Others study the effects of particular network properties and positions and the causes of networks and positions like how social interaction shapes social networks, for instance within-neighborhood relations are more likely to form between neighbors who have access to electronic means of communicating with each other.

12. Others study the effects of particular network properties and positions and the causes of networks and positions like how social interaction shapes social networks, for instance within-neighborhood relations are more likely to form between neighbors who have access to electronic means of communicating with each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. Okay. After collection, network data are used to calculate properties of network positions. Properties are things like the number of relations a node has and how clusters of nodes in a network are bridged. This is what for instance network researcher Ronald Burt calls network anatomy.

13. Okay. After collection, network data are used to calculate properties of network positions. Properties are things like the number of relations a node has and how clusters of nodes in a network are bridged. This is what for instance network researcher Ronald Burt calls network anatomy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14. The social network anatomy is a way to explain networks. If you delineate a network, connectors and nodes have meaning that can be explained. Connected nodes are groups of networked individuals who relate; have relationships with other members.

14. The social network anatomy is a way to explain networks. If you delineate a network, connectors and nodes have meaning that can be explained. Connected nodes are groups of networked individuals who relate; have relationships with other members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15. Closure is about developing strong ties, trust, reputation and community within clusters. Trust-builders are able to understand the deep connections that bond people and give the cluster members a common identity.

15. Closure is about developing strong ties, trust, reputation and community within clusters. Trust-builders are able to understand the deep connections that bond people and give the cluster members a common identity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16. Betweenness indicates the degree to which a node forms a bridge or critical link between other nodes. For instance, some people – nodes – serve as gatekeeper to others or, some serve as gateway to dissimilate information to others: hubs.

16. Betweenness indicates the degree to which a node forms a bridge or critical link between other nodes. For instance, some people – nodes – serve as gatekeeper to others or, some serve as gateway to dissimilate information to others: hubs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17. Closeness is a measure of how easily a node can connect with other nodes. You may approach some people in your network, say at the university, very easily but others may be hard to reach perhaps because of betweenness problems. The question rises if interaction is easier with nodes that are directly linked to you or those further away.

17. Closeness is a measure of how easily a node can connect with other nodes. You may approach some people in your network, say at the university, very easily but others may be hard to reach perhaps because of betweenness problems. The question rises if interaction is easier with nodes that are directly linked to you or those further away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18. Degree is the number of connections a node has to other nodes. For example, the number of people in your family, or on your team at work or the number of friends you have on Facebook.

18. Degree is the number of connections a node has to other nodes. For example, the number of people in your family, or on your team at work or the number of friends you have on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19. Brokerage is about developing weak ties: building bridges and relationships between clusters of nodes. Brokers are in a position to see the differences between groups, cross-pollinate ideas and develop the differences into new ideas and opportunities.

19. Brokerage is about developing weak ties: building bridges and relationships between clusters of nodes. Brokers are in a position to see the differences between groups, cross-pollinate ideas and develop the differences into new ideas and opportunities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20. To wrap up. Marin & Wellman say that social network analysis is a paradigm that starts off with the premise that social life is created primarily by relations and the patterns they form. What do you say? Check out this website: www.insna.org

20. To wrap up. Marin & Wellman say that social network analysis is a paradigm that starts off with the premise that social life is created primarily by relations and the patterns they form. What do you say? Check out this website: http://www.insna.org

Written by Kees Winkel

December 14, 2012 at 10:08

Posted in 1

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