Course on Social Networks in Term 2 (Jan – April 2014) [All Students]

Sociology 599A.  Special Topics Seminar: Social Networks

Instructor: Dr. D.B. Tindall Term 2 (January – April 2014)
Time: Mondays: 1:00pm – 4:00pm. Location: Buchanan B101

Since its earliest inception, social network analysis has evolved from a relatively simple yet novel method (e.g. through graph theory and related initial measures of structural properties such as centrality and density) to a complex set of methodologies, substantive research areas, and theoretical orientations.  Social network analysis, or alternatively, structural analysis, is the study of how patterns of relations affect the distribution of various “things” throughout a system.  In sociology these “things” tend to be resources such as information, wealth, status, or influence (but in other disciplines include things like diseases in medicine, or electrical pulses in engineering).  Indeed, as an area of inquiry, social networks is broader than being simply a methodology – it is also a “paradigm”, and a set of substantive areas of inquiry.

This course will examine methodological, substantive, and theoretical issues concerning social networks.

A conceptual overview will be provided that covers: 1. Theory, 2. Ego-centric networks, 3. Whole Networks, 4. Relational Approaches, 5. Positional Approaches.

Methodological Issues to be covered will include: 1. Statistics, 2. Measures, 3. Reliability Issues, 4. Sampling, 5. Visualization, 6. Qualitative Analysis.  Some of the methodological approaches and measures covered may include: centrality, density, clustering, structural holes, block modelling, QAP regression/correlation, visualization, ERGMs (exponential random graph models).  A variety of computer programs will be introduced; some of these may include: UCINET, Netdraw, Pajek, Multinet, and SIENA.

Some substantive topics that might be covered include: Social and Cultural Capital, Social Movements and Collective Action, Communities, Diffusion and Social Influence, Discourse Networks, Crime, Deviance, and Dark Networks, Health and Social Support, Communication Networks, Sexual Networks, Economic Networks/Corporate Interlocks, Cognitive Networks, Ecology and Social Networks, Computer-Mediated Social Networks.  (These are just a few possibilities.)

Please Note: Prior to taking the course all SLAIS students will need to submit this form to Dr. Rick Kopak as Graduate Adviser:
Application for Credit for ‘External’ Courses Form –  Dr. Rick Kopak must approve the course before it can be counted towards meeting their degree requirements.


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