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Social Network Analysis

Social Network Analysis
History, Theory and Methodology

October 2011 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
We live in a world that is paradoxically both small and vast; each of us is embedded in local communities and yet we are only a few 'links' away from anyone else in the world.

This engaging book represents these interdependencies' positive and negative consequences, their multiple effects and the ways in which a local occurrence in one part of the world can directly affect the rest. Then it demonstrates precisely how these interactions and relationships form.

This is a book for the social network novice learning how to study, think about and analyse social networks; the intermediate user, not yet familiar with some of the newer developments in the field; and the teacher looking for a range of exercises, as well as an up-to-date historical account of the field.

It is divided into three clear sections:

1. historical & Background Concepts

2. Levels of Analysis

3. Advances, Extensions and Conclusions

The book provides a full overview of the field - historical origins, common theoretical perspectives and frameworks; traditional and current analytical procedures and fundamental mathematical equations needed to get a foothold in the field.

Introduction: What Are Social Networks?

Becoming Familiar with Social Networks
A Brief History of Social Network Analysis
How to Study Social Networks, from Theory to Design
Actor Level in Complete Networks
Actor Level in Ego Networks
Dyad and Triad Levels
Subgroups Level
Network Level
Position and Roles Analysis
PART THREE: Advances, Extensions and Conclusions
Statistical Models for Social Networks
Conclusions and Future of the Field
Appendix 1: Getting Started with UCINET

Appendix 2: Exponential Random Graph Modelling and Longitudinal Modelling through Siena

Appendix 3: Calculating Probability for Transitivity Using Actor-Based Models


This book fills an important void in the social network literature by bringing together theory, methodology and history. Its practical and readable style gives clear guidance on how to do social network research and will be invaluable to anyone undertaking a network study
Martin Everett
Chair of Social Network Analysis, Manchester University

Christina Prell has produced an excellent and well-crafted introduction to methods of social network analysis. She has succeeded in the difficult task of setting out a clear and accessible statement of core ideas together with a judicious overview of the most advanced recent developments. Her discussion concludes with an introduction to basic software for network analysis that will be much valued by all who are new to the area. The book will become an essential guide to the field for newcomers and seasoned users alike

John Scott
Professor of Sociology, Plymouth University

Christina Prell's excellent introduction to social network analysis will be appreciated by social scientists coming to these new approaches for the first time. Fundamental methods are described clearly and succinctly, the advice on how to develop a network-based research study is comprehensive and practical, and the introduction to statistical methods will prepare readers keen to follow more advanced paths. It is pleasing to see a text that includes a proper history of the field. This book provides a very accessible guide for readers who want to learn how to do real network research in the social sciences

Garry Robins
Associate Professor and Reader Psychological Science, University of Melbourne

Interest in social networks comes from all quarters and from persons with varying levels of preparation for understanding the complexities of social network analysis. Prell's Social Network Analysis: History, Theory, and Methodology is admirably suited for newcomers to the field, introducing the basics of social network analysis in a gentle style replete with understandable examples. Newcomers (and their instructors) will also appreciate the ease with which they acquire facility with UCINET, a widely used social analysis software package, by working through the examples
John Skvoretz
Professor of Sociology at the University of South Florida

"I would heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in getting acquainted with SNA. Its pragmatic point of view--with recurring hints on how to perform different kinds of analysis using UCINET, a popular software tool for SNA--makes this book especially suitable for practitioners."

Fernando Berzal
Computing Reviews

This book by Christina Prell more than adequately fulfils a promise to meet the needs of those coming to the field for the first time, the intermediate researcher looking to develop skills in the field and for teachers seeking a comprehensive account that will help inform their students.[...] It offers a straightforwardly clear and practical ‘how to’ together with introductions to the favoured computer software applications – always a valuable insight to the neophyte. Indeed if I were to seek a ‘foothold’ in SNA this is where I would start.

Dr Ron Iphofen
Independent Research Consultant

The book is a highly recommendable introduction to the field, remarkable for its clarity, accessibility and completeness, with ambitions to fast-forward its readers from beginners’ level up to the point where they can at least appreciate, though perhaps not yet use, advanced models.

Paola Tubaro
University of Greenwich
Sociology Journal

This is a very easy-to-learn book and very detailed on network analysis.

Mr Marcos Ferasso
Business Administration , Federal University of Parana
January 12, 2016

Useful text for understanding the background to SNA and provides practical guidance on undertaking SNA projects. Good for both undergrad, postgrad and research staff.

Mr Sebastin Stevens
Faculty of Social Science and Business, University of Plymouth
August 7, 2015

I like the book a lot, it gives a good overview on SNA, most of all for people who haven't looked into data yet and are at the very beginning of working with SNA.

Ms Renate Kratochvil
Department for International Business, Vienna Univ of Econ & Business Admin
March 10, 2015

Accessible, well-readable book. Especially the historical introduction offers the essential background to understand the origin and with it the underpinning logic of the approach - all the way very comprehensive.

Professor Eva Heidbreder
Social Sciences, Heinrich Heine University
March 10, 2015

The level of the book is too general to be used for the programme.

Professor Dong-Wook Song
School of Engineering and Built Environment, Edinburgh Napier University
December 9, 2014

Well written and constructed arguments. This is an excellent guide that takes the reader through the journey of Social Network Analysis. Highly recommended!

Mr Stuart Agnew
Social Science , University Campus Suffolk Ltd
June 13, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One