Mixing Methods in Social Research
To Be Published January 31st 2014 by Routledge – 196 pages
Series: Social Research Today
How do we interact with people in our everyday life? Who are the people we are connected to? What kind of support do we obtain from them? How can we provide assistance to them? How do conflicts emerge and how are they dealt with in our social circles? And what do these relationships mean for us? Social network analysis is a research approach that has tried to answer these and many other questions by examining the patterns of relations between people. This book explores the formal aspects of social networks, as well as the way people interpret them. By bringing together qualitative methods with social network analysis techniques, this book shows how to plan and conduct empirical research in the analysis of social structures.
Introduction: The Need for Mixed Methods in Social Networks 1. Unpacking Qualitative Networks 1.1 The Epistemological Foundations of Social Networks 1.2 The Problem of the Self 1.3 The Place of Culture 1.4 Exploring the Structure 1.5 The Focus on Relationships 2. Qualitative Research: Tracks of Networks within the Study of the Subject 2.1 Theoretical Perspectives: Networks as Metaphor 2.1.1 Duality in the Work of Georg Simmel 2.1.2 The Chicago School: Life in the Ghetto 2.1.3 Symbolic Interactionism: Identity, Roles and Social Worlds 2.1.4 The Social Construction of Reality 2.1.5 Breaking the Social Order 2.2 When Networks are Needed 2.3 Limits and Problems in SNA 3. Social Network Analysis: Exploring the Structure 3.1 An Interdisciplinary Approach 3.2 When Quality is Needed 3.3 Limits and Problems in Qualitative Approaches 4. Mixing Methods in Social Network Research 4.1 Mixed Methods in Defining the Field 4.2 Mixed Methods in Data Collection 4.3 Mixed Methods in Data Analysis 4.4 Mixed Methods in Longitudinal Networks 5. Applications of Qualitative Networks 5.1 Egonetworks 5.2 Whole Networks Conclusion
Elisa Bellotti is Research Associate at the University of Manchester. She has been working on youth cultures, personal relationships and sociology of science and knowledge using both social network analysis and qualitative methods. She has experience in teaching both methods at undergraduate, postgraduate and Ph.D level. She has been published in peer reviewed Italian and international journals. Recent publications include "What are friends for? Elective communities of single people", in Social Networks, 2008 and "Amicizie. Le reti sociali dei giovani single", Franco Angeli, 2008 (in Italian).