David Knoke and Song Yang defines social network as a structure depicting interconnections among a set of members or actors. Social network [Page 1542]analysis is an approach to better understand the exchange of information or other resources within these interconnections. The goal of this relational approach is to conceptualize and quantify how actors (e.g., people, groups, or organizations) interconnect and influence other actors. Social network analysts use qualitative and quantitative methods to (a) conceptualize social network ties with visual tools, such as graphs, tables, and figures and (b) characterize the nature of those ties, such as the strength of the relationships.
The application of social network analysis in research and evaluation is fairly recent, emerging in the 1930s, appearing in limited research articles in the 1970s, ...
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