Social Network Analysis (University of Surrey Sociology Short Course Series)
7 - 9 May 2019, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
‘One of the most potent ideas in the social sciences is the notion that individuals are embedded in thick webs of social relations and interactions’ (Borgatti et al. 2009, p. 892). Social network analysis helps us understand individuals’ contact with the larger social world. It focuses on relationships between social entities, and analyses patterns of social interaction and their influence on individual behaviour. For instance, social network analysis is used to study the role of social capital in getting better jobs; the spread of infectious diseases, ideas, and ‘fake news’; criminal collaboration in terrorist and organised crime groups. It also helps us understand the impact of personal networks on individual behaviour, e.g. whether adolescents with many smokers among their friends are more likely to start smoking.