Social Network Analysis: An Overview David Passmore Workforce Education & Development
The typical research study examines relationships among variables (focus on variables) ◦ Data most frequently are organized in a cases-by-variable matrix for analysis ◦ Usually samples from populations, requiring inferential processes to estimate population values A social network analysis (SNA) studies relationships among entities (focus is on relationships) ◦ Data typically organized in an entity-by-entity matrix ◦ Inferential processes are developed, but rarely usedSocial network analysis focuses on relationships, not attributes
A network is composed of a series of nodes interconnected by communication paths Examples: ◦ Physical, as in a storm water management system that connects street drains to corrugated pipes that, eventually, aggregate storm water to treatment plants. ◦ Virtual, as in a network of linked computers ◦ Biological, as in a nervous system composed of synapses that pass chemical or electrical signals among neurons ◦ Networks also can be socialThey are all around us
A social network is composed of nodes represented by individuals or organizations that are linked by such social factors as friendship, kinship, common interest, or financial exchange. As with any network, the structure of links among nodes in a social network can be represented by a network diagram.