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Social Network Analysis: A Mixed-Methodological Approach
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: MIXED-METHOD NETWORK ANALYSIS create a qualitative design to further analyze the data through ethnography and in-depth  interviews.   To develop a holistic view of a network’s capability for empowerment, an  ethnographic study is best suited for capturing complex yet ephemeral aspects of interactions,  resources given and received, and knowledge shared.  In using ethnography the researcher can  get an insider perspective for how networks strengthen and empower organizations.  There are  many different ways to approach ethnography to include peopled ethnography, personal  ethnography or postulated ethnography (Fine, 2010).  The ethnographic approach suggested here  stems from a Freirian perspective of shared knowledge and dialogue of equals (Freire, 1998).  In  conducting interviews and all encounters with organization members the researcher should not  assume her knowledge is greater than those she is observing and instead should attempt to create  a shared knowledge between herself and her interviewees to encourage a greater understanding  of the organization process and experience.   To align ethnography with the network diagram the researcher should focus on the hubs  that generate the most activity (clustering, centralizing, in-degree, out-degree).  The goal with  coupling the two approaches is not to overwhelm the researcher or create a life-long project but  instead to get a holistic view of a network as well as in-depth knowledge about the network to  inform conclusions about network empowerment.  Once hubs have been identified the researcher  will need to determine and justify the most number of nodes to investigate that will yield the  most significant data.  Only theory and experience will be able to determine this number.  After  compiling this list the researcher will need to design a tailored approach to studying each node  based on the specifications of the study in question.  When conducting ethnography the  researcher will need to determine the appropriate length of time needed to fully capture a sense  of the node and its role within the network.  This length of time may depend on access, funding,  20

Authors: Vincent, Cindy.
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Running Head: MIXED-METHOD NETWORK ANALYSIS

create a qualitative design to further analyze the data through ethnography and in-depth 

interviews.  

To develop a holistic view of a network’s capability for empowerment, an 

ethnographic study is best suited for capturing complex yet ephemeral aspects of interactions, 

resources given and received, and knowledge shared.  In using ethnography the researcher can 

get an insider perspective for how networks strengthen and empower organizations.  There are 

many different ways to approach ethnography to include peopled ethnography, personal 

ethnography or postulated ethnography (Fine, 2010).  The ethnographic approach suggested here 

stems from a Freirian perspective of shared knowledge and dialogue of equals (Freire, 1998).  In 

conducting interviews and all encounters with organization members the researcher should not 

assume her knowledge is greater than those she is observing and instead should attempt to create 

a shared knowledge between herself and her interviewees to encourage a greater understanding 

of the organization process and experience.  

To align ethnography with the network diagram the researcher should focus on the hubs 

that generate the most activity (clustering, centralizing, in-degree, out-degree).  The goal with 

coupling the two approaches is not to overwhelm the researcher or create a life-long project but 

instead to get a holistic view of a network as well as in-depth knowledge about the network to 

inform conclusions about network empowerment.  Once hubs have been identified the researcher 

will need to determine and justify the most number of nodes to investigate that will yield the 

most significant data.  Only theory and experience will be able to determine this number.  After 

compiling this list the researcher will need to design a tailored approach to studying each node 

based on the specifications of the study in question.  When conducting ethnography the 

researcher will need to determine the appropriate length of time needed to fully capture a sense 

of the node and its role within the network.  This length of time may depend on access, funding, 

20



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