Review

Network Analysis in the Social Sciences

Science  13 Feb 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5916, pp. 892-895
DOI: 10.1126/science.1165821

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Abstract

Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of interest in network research across the physical and social sciences. For social scientists, the theory of networks has been a gold mine, yielding explanations for social phenomena in a wide variety of disciplines from psychology to economics. Here, we review the kinds of things that social scientists have tried to explain using social network analysis and provide a nutshell description of the basic assumptions, goals, and explanatory mechanisms prevalent in the field. We hope to contribute to a dialogue among researchers from across the physical and social sciences who share a common interest in understanding the antecedents and consequences of network phenomena.

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