A Taste of Methodology - Introduction to Social Network Analysis

Presenter: Ashton Verdery, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Demography
When May 01, 2018
from 10:30 AM to 01:30 PM
Where Bennett Pierce Living Center, 110 Henderson Building
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A Taste of Methodology is a series of brief, semiannual workshops for Penn State faculty. Our objective is to provide an efficient way for you to assess a method’s potential for your research, and we even provide lunch. In this semester’s workshop, Ashton Verdery, assistant professor of sociology and demography at Penn State, will introduce social network analysis.

Social network analysis is widely used in the social sciences, and the social networks paradigm—which poses questions about how people are connected to one another and the ramifications of these connections—is gaining broad traction across many disciplines. Scientists are applying social network analysis to examine how people relate to one another; why relationships form, persist, and dissolve; how relationships affect the flow of items such as diseases, goods, information, or behaviors; how individual positions in broader network structures affect people; and how the global organization of local network ties creates different levels of community robustness, susceptibility, and resilience.

In this workshop, Ashton will introduce aspects of the social networks paradigm that are relevant to researchers in diverse fields. He will present applications from the literature and an overview of social network analysis methods with an emphasis on social network data collection, social network data structures, and available software and tools.


The three-hour workshop will provide

  • a conceptual introduction to social network analysis, including an overview of different approaches, data collection methods, and analysis tools;
  • two walk-through applications of social network analysis from Ashton’s research;
  • open discussion about applying social network analysis in participants’ own research;
  • resources to learn more about social network analysis methods and theories; and
  • lunch! 

Who should attend?

This workshop is targeted at faculty and postdoctoral researchers who are interested in applying social network analysis in their own research.

A Taste of Methodology is co-sponsored by the Social Science Research Institute and the Methodology Center and is part of SSRI's Innovative Methods Initiative. The workshop is FREE and open to all Ph.D.-level scientists at Penn State. Registration is required and places are limited. Email Tammy Knepp (TLKnepp@psu.edu) to register or ask questions.