UMass Amherst

Institute for Social Science Research

Beginner's Workshop

May 27, 2019 (9 AM - 5 PM)

Getting Started with Social Network Analysis

Location: Machmer Hall Room E20

(Capacity limited to 20)

Network analysis is increasingly used by social scientists to capture properties of complex relationships. It is both a descriptive device and an inferential tool, and is often used alongside other methods, both qualitative and quantitative. Unlike many other quantitative techniques, the heart of network analysis presumes that actors are interconnected, rather than independent observations.

This 1-day intensive beginners workshop covers all the necessary elements to get started with network analysis in your own research. It will allow you to read, interpret and critique other scholars’ network analysis results, and to build up a range of specific skills and tools that can grow over time.

We will cover a wide range of topics, including:

- How to build your own network data from scratch

- The basic components of network analysis and its specialized language and concepts

- How to generate interactive network visualizations for presentations and data discovery

- Identifying and addressing problems in network data

- Learn how to compare networks based on their structural properties

- Generate network statistics

The workshop proceeds by way of short lectures and breakout sessions involving working with real data and coding. Participants will work with a variety of network-relational datasets, provided by the workshop. We will be doing hands-on work in the R statistical environment, but no prior knowledge of R is required.

Instructor: Kevin L Young

Kevin L Young is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the university of Massachusetts Amherst. His work focuses on international political economy, especially the operation of interest group coalitions and elite networks. He is the author (with Thomas Hale and David Held) of Gridlock: Why Global Cooperation is Failing When it is Most Needed (Polity Press), and has published work in Review of International Political Economy, Public Administration, Regulation and Governance, Socio-Economic Review and International Studies Quarterly.