A short tour of social network analysis
11th February 2021, (Online, via Zoom) 12.00 – 13.00 (UK),
Professor Martin Everett, Mitchell Centre for Social Network Analysis, University of Manchester.
Social network analysis is a methodology for capturing, storing, visualizing and analyzing relational data; that is, data concerning relations between specified entities (e.g., individuals, organizations, nations) and patterns of connection within populations of such entities. As such it stands in contrast to most standard social scientific approaches, which typically focus upon the attributes of such entities. Interest in social relations, their properties and effects, stretches back to the origins of social science and indeed even further back to the earliest social philosophies, and the origins of Social Network Analysis itself can be traced back at least as far as the 1930s. The perspective has enjoyed a huge boost in recent years as advances in technology have increased the computing power routinely available to social scientists.
In this talk we will examine the development of social network analysis from hand drawn sociograms of Moreno through to applications drawn from big data. The focus will be on highlighting key ideas that have had a major influence on either the mathematical development of social networks or on the application of network analysis on different types of data. The multidisciplinary nature of social network analysis has been a key feature and we shall deliberately draw on concepts, ideas and applications from the disciplines that have been most closely associated with the subject. These include, but are not limited to, the following which are in no particular order; mathematics, sociology, computer science, anthropology, physics, psychology, biology and business. The selection of topics is entirely personal but is intended to show both the breadth and depth of the subject as well as touching on areas of active research.