The ego-net approach to social network analysis, which takes discrete individual actors and their contacts as its starting point, is one of the most widely used approaches in the field. This is the first textbook to take readers through each stage of ego-net research, from conception, through research design and data gathering to analysis. It starts with the basics, assuming no prior knowledge of social network analysis, but then moves on to introduce cutting edge innovations, covering both new statistical approaches to ego-net analysis and also the most recent thinking on mixing methods (quantitative and qualitative) to achieve depth and rigour. It is an absolute must for anybody wishing to explore the importance of networks.


Learning Outcomes

By the end of this chapter you will:

  • Know how ‘network’ is defined in social network analysis.
  • Be familiar with three different approaches to social network analysis: ego-net analysis, whole network analysis and two-mode analysis.
  • Know what is distinctive about ego-net analysis.
  • Understand the pros and cons of ego-net analysis, relative to whole network analysis, and where it is most appropriate to use each approach.
  • Understand some of the ways in which network data are stored and represented for purposes of network analysis, and also certain fundamental concepts and measures used by network analysts.
  • Be familiar with the basic plan for the book as a whole.


In this book we offer a comprehensive introduction to one of the most widely used forms of social network analysis (SNA): actor-centred or ...

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