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.

Statistical Analysis Of Network Dynamics

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this chapter you will:

  • Have a good understanding of the added issues in temporal analysis of ego-nets.
  • Have a basic knowledge of how standard longitudinal techniques apply to analysis of ego-network size.
  • Have a basic grasp of different approaches to dynamic analysis of alter addition and alter-alter ties.


In this final chapter we turn our attention to statistical methods for analysing ego-nets over time. These methods are not well developed. Consequently there is not much experience to draw on for understanding the dynamics of ego-nets. There are studies of egos over time where alter nominations have been collected through, for example, name generators (Valente and Saba 1998; Valente and Vlahov 2001). While many standard approaches may be applied ...

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