Book Cover

What is Social Network Analysis?

John Scott

Bloomsbury Academic 2012

Bloomsbury open access

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license

Book summary / abstract

This book introduces the non-specialist reader to the principal ideas, nature and purpose of social network analysis. Social networks operate on many levels, from families up to the level of nations, and play a critical role in determining the way problems are solved, organizations are run, and the degree to which individuals achieve their goals. Social network theory maps these relationships between individual actors. Though relatively new on the scene it has become hugely influential across the social sciences.

Assuming no prior knowledge of quantitative sociology, this book presents the key ideas in context through examples and illustrations. Using a structured approach to understanding work in this area, John Scott signposts further reading and online sources so readers can develop their knowledge and skills to become practitioners of this research method. A series of Frequently Asked Questions takes the reader through the main objections raised against social network analysis and answers the various queries that will come up once the reader has worked their way through the book.