Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series
Edited by Robert Stimson
The chapter describes the foundations of social network analysis. It provides an introduction to the concepts and methods of social network analysis, and it illustrates their application in the social sciences. The primary focus of these methods is the analysis of connections among a group of social actors. After a brief introduction to key graph theoretical concepts, we review methods for exploring cohesive subgroups within networks. The chapter then addresses structural properties of actors such as centrality, and it then goes on to discuss the positional equivalence of actors, including structural equivalence and block models. It provides an introduction to statistical analysis, including exponential random graph models. Finally the chapter illustrates application of a number of popular network analysis software packages, including Pajek, UCINET, StOCNET and PNet.
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