Cambridge Colloquium on Complexity and Social Networks (CCCSN)



Tutorial: Application of Social Network Analysis in Digital Government Research
Location: dg.O 2005, Atlanta, Georgia
Date: May 15, 2005 (2 - 5 pm)

Organizer: Ines Mergel
Presenters: David Lazer, Ines Mergel, Nosh Contractor

Social network analysis is a developing paradigm in academia, business and also in private lives. It spins across all kinds of academic disciplines, such as sociology, anthropology, psychology, organization studies or political sciences. It helps to map and measure of relationships and communication or resource flows between people, groups, organizations, computers or other entities. The nodes in the network are the people and groups while the links show relationships or flows between the nodes. Social networks are formed of social relations that consist of nodes (represented by actors, players, agents, vertices or points) and are connected by lines (ties, links or edges). The nodes can either consists of individuals or collectivities, such as organizations, political units (cities, nations, or societies). Social network analysis provides both concepts and theories, but also statistical tools to visualize and analyze the observed relationships.

The target audience of the tutorial "Application of Social Network Analysis in Digital Government Research" is any researcher interested in the theory and analysis of relationships between computer networks, organizational and institutional actors. This tutorial is intended to give an overview of the existing theories, a brief introduction into the analysis of network data using a common tool called UCInet and into different visualization methods. Moreover, specific applications for digital government researchers are presented. A Q&A session will end the tutorial, in which researchers can address their specific research needs.

We will use existing, well-known and often reanalyzed data to show the relevance of social network analysis in different fields of application. In addition, we will use our own data from different studies in the area of Digital Government to show the relevance of the method and enhance the understanding of social network analysis. After this tutorial, attendees will be able to analyze their own data using social network analysis techniques. The lecturers will submit a list of introductory readings and Internet resources on Social Network Theory and Analysis.