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1 - Introduction

Network Analysis Today

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 September 2023

Craig M. Rawlings
Duke University, North Carolina
Jeffrey A. Smith
Nova Scotia Health Authority
James Moody
Duke University, North Carolina
Daniel A. McFarland
Stanford University, California
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Stop. Take a moment to look around. What do you see? No matter where you are, you are likely perceiving a world consisting of things. Maybe you are reading this book in a coffee shop, and if so, you probably see people, cups, books, chairs, and so on. You see a world of objects with properties, yourself included: white cups are on wooden tables, people sitting in chairs are reading books and talking with one another. At the same time, you are a subject, responding to this world and actively bringing yourself and these objects into interrelation. And yet, the world of objects with properties that you are perceiving is but one slice of a complex reality.

Network Analysis
Integrating Social Network Theory, Method, and Application with R
, pp. 1 - 16
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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Suggested Further Reading

Barabási, Albert-László. 2002. Linked: The New Science of Networks, Cambridge MA: Perseus Press. (Provides an interesting systems-science foil for social science approaches. Barabasi, Watts, and Newman are key figures in the late 1990s rise of “network science” as distinct from social network analysis. See also Watts 2003; Newman 2018.)Google Scholar
Butts, Carter T. 2009. “Revisiting the Foundations of Network Analysis.” Science 325: 414. (A critical summary of the idea that all connected systems are “a network,” and highlights the need to tailor approaches to the complexities of empirical settings.)Google Scholar
Easly, David, and Kleinberg, Jon. 2010. Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning about a Highly Connected World. New York: Cambridge University Press. (An overview introduction with a focus on network science approaches to economic and financial questions.)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Freeman, Linton C. 2004. The Development of Social Network Analysis: A Study in the Sociology of Science. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: Empirical Press. (Provides a rich history of the development of social network analysis as a substantive discipline.)Google Scholar
Jackson, Matthew O. 2008. Social and Economic Networks. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. (Brings economic modeling/theory to networks.)Google Scholar
Kadushin, Charles. 2011. Understanding Social Networks: Theories, Concepts and Findings. New York: Oxford University Press. (A substantive introduction to structural theories of social life, with clear applications. The “ten master ideas” chapter, in particular, provides a succinct summary of why networks are fundamental to understanding social processes.)Google Scholar
Light, Ryan, and Moody, James. 2020. The Oxford Handbook of Social Networks. New York: Oxford University Press. (A broad overview covering multiple contemporary topics by field experts.)Google Scholar
Lin, Nan. 2002. Social Capital: A Theory of Social Structure and Action. New York: Cambridge University Press. (Lin’s work illustrates how social connections and social relations can be a key resource.)Google Scholar
Watts, Duncan J. 2003. Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age. New York, Norton. (A substantive introduction to the network science approach. See also Barabási 2002; Newman 2018.)Google Scholar
Wellman, Barry. 1988. “Structural Analysis: From Method and Metaphor to Theory and Substance.” In Social Structures: A Network Approach, edited by Wellman, Barry and Berkowitz, S. D.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (A nice introduction to the what and why of networks.)Google Scholar
Baker, Wayne. 1984. “The Social Structure of a National Securities Market.” American Journal of Sociology 89: 775811. (An exemplar of how structural realities undermine pure market assumptions. A classic work linking networks to economic sociology.)Google Scholar
Coleman, James S. 1961. The Adolescent Society. New York: Free Press. (Demonstrated that adolescent networks and schools worked as largely self-contained social systems characterized by social networks. See also Hollingshead 1949.)Google Scholar
Davis, James A. 1963 . “Structural Balance, Mechanical Solidarity, and Interpersonal Relations.” American Journal of Sociology 68: 444–62. (The set of papers by Davis, Lienhardt, and Holland translated models for social balance to directed social relations and set the stage for much of the statistical modeling and network testing tradition to come. See also Davis 1970; Holland & Leinhardt 1970.)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davis, James A. 1970. “Clustering and Hierarchy in Interpersonal Relations: Testing Two Graph Theoretical Models on 742 Sociomatrices.” American Sociological Review 35: 843–51. (See the note for Davis 1963.)Google Scholar
Fischer, Claude. 1982. To Dwell among Friends. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (An early application of ego-network analysis providing detailed description of social embeddedness across the urban–rural continuum.)Google Scholar
Granovetter, Mark S. 1973. “The Strength of Weak Ties.” American Journal of Sociology 78: 1360–80. (Classic paper showing that unique, nonredundant information travels through weak ties; in contrast to much prior work that focused network research only on strong durable ties.)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Granovetter, Mark S. 1974. Getting a Job: A Study of Contacts and Careers. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (A deep investigation into how people use their networks to obtain hard-to-find resources; introduced the importance of weak ties in social capital. See also Lee 1969.)Google Scholar
Holland, Paul W., and Leinhardt, Samuel. 1970. “A Method for Detecting Structure in Sociometric Data.” American Journal of Sociology 76: 492513. (See the note for Davis 1963.)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hollingshead, August. 1949. Elmtown’s Youth: The Impact of Social Classes on Adolescents. New York: John Wiley. (See the note for Coleman 1961.)Google Scholar
Lee, Nancy Howell. 1969. The Search for an Abortionist. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (See the note for Granovetter 1974.)Google Scholar
Moreno, Jacob L. 1953 [1934]. Who Shall Survive? A New Approach to the Problem of Human Interrelations. New York: Beacon Press. (Arguably the foundation of sociometric data collection, visualization, and analysis. Moreno was also instrumental in founding Sociometry, which published lovely early case studies on organizational, community, and family networks.)Google Scholar
Roethlisberger, Fritz Jules, Dickson, William John and Wright, Harold A.. 1947 [1939]. Management and the Worker: An Account of a Research Program Conducted by the Western Electric Company, Hawthorne Works, Chicago. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (A classic study of workers engaged in different activities and their relation to friendship and cliques.)Google Scholar
White, Harrison. 1963. Anatomy of Kinship. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. (This work lays the foundation for using compound social relations as representations of roles. This forms the roots of all the following work on blockmodeling.)Google Scholar
Borgatti, Stephen P., Everett, Martin G., and Johnson, Jeffrey C.. 2018. Analyzing Social Networks. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Press. (Clear and concise methods text for applied network analysis; extended in 2022 in collaboration with Filip Agneessens to include direct instruction in R.)Google Scholar
Knoke, David, and Yang, Song. 2021. Social Network Analysis, 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (The third edition of Knoke’s text [the first was in 1982], each with different collaborators. An excellent quick-start guide to applied network analysis.)Google Scholar
Newman, Mark E. J. 2018. Networks. New York: Oxford University Press. (Core network science text, particularly good for mathematical details of network distributions. See also Barabási 2002; Watts 2003.)Google Scholar
Scott, John. 2012. Social Network Analysis, 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (This has been the quick go-to reference text since its first edition in 1991.)Google Scholar
Wasserman, Stanley, and Faust, Katherine. 1994. Social Network Analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press. (The “Big Red Book” that sits on all our shelves; provides an encyclopedic history of the field and foundational methods works. Many of us keep copies in each of our offices.)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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