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What is Social Network Analysis?

Updated on August 8, 2010

What is Social Network Analysis?

 Social network analysis is associated with network theory and it has actually developed as a main technique in modern sociology.  Social network analysis has also become a significant topic in biology, geography, anthropology, economics, organizational studies, communication studies, social psychology, and information science.  The methodology of social network has no doubt been presented in a bad light in the past due to the complex nature of the entire development of the analysis.  Social network analysis has finally reached another level now that the idea has become a full fledged idea.  Also this analysis is very complex indeed, providing plenty of room for growth in the field as as the ideas and theories grow.

 Analysts do tend not to agree with the main principles each group happens to have.  Analysts study two principles in this technique which include complete networks as well as specific population information within personal communities.  The main difference between complete and egocentric analysis is based on how the analysts is able to collect data on each topic.  The network analysis is concentrated mainly on groups such as schools and also analysts are required to collect information about participants in each particular analysis.  Used with the combination of random sampling, egocentric analysis is very easy when compared with complete analysis.

 The data required for social network analysis is obtained from many places like questionnaires, experiments and all other kinds of written records.  The various social relations that are depicted by social network analysis include but are not limited to actions, flows and co-occurrence.  The main levels that are used in this analysis are subgroup levels, relation level and social network levels.  The method followed in the social network analysis is usually criticized for the use of very little if none at all, theoretical knowledge.

 Due to the lack of screening the thesis statistically, the information breaks presumptions and related items which in turn has created serious problems in the past.  Now, with the advancement and use of permutation test, all the problems of the past is corrected to certain extent.  The inadequacy of computing resources to connect all social networks because the datasets are quite large is the main thing that holds back the studies today.


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