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Social Network Analysis: A Mixed-Methodological Approach
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: MIXED-METHOD NETWORK ANALYSIS replies.  It may not be possible to capture all of the interviewee’s responses so recording devices  like video or audio recorders are suggested.  A pen and paper will always suffice if the  interviewees do not give consent to recording devices.   Data Analysis Like data collection methods qualitative data analyses can take varied approaches as well.  One approach that can be useful is a grounded theory approach (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) in  which the researcher relies on existing theory as a lens to analyze the data.  Once the data is  collected and transcribed they can be analyzed through open coding, which consists of a close  textual reading line by line to determine portions of text that can develop potential categories  (Lindlof & Taylor, 2002).  Throughout this process a constant comparison of categories should  be conducted in which each new code is compared against former codes to ensure consistency of  coding and reliability in data (Strauss & Corbin, 1990).  Once the initial set of categories is  determined the data can then be inserted into a codebook.  A second close reading of the data  should be conducted, consisting of axial coding, in which the initial categories are re-analyzed to  find connections where codes can be formed that either merge existing categories or identifies  categories as irrelevant to the overall goals of the study and abandoned.  At this point, codes  transition from the previous descriptive form of coding to a more analytical/theoretical coding  process by re-examining the data under the lens of the main theoretical assumption of the study.  Conclusion This paper sought to propose a merger of quantitative and qualitative methodologies to  analyzing social networks.  This approach opens many new research implications for  interdisciplinary fields that had previously only approached network analysis from a strictly  quantitative perspective.  A few hypothetical research studies have been proposed throughout  22

Authors: Vincent, Cindy.
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background image

Running Head: MIXED-METHOD NETWORK ANALYSIS

replies.  It may not be possible to capture all of the interviewee’s responses so recording devices 

like video or audio recorders are suggested.  A pen and paper will always suffice if the 

interviewees do not give consent to recording devices.  

Data Analysis

Like data collection methods qualitative data analyses can take varied approaches as well. 

One approach that can be useful is a grounded theory approach (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) in 

which the researcher relies on existing theory as a lens to analyze the data.  Once the data is 

collected and transcribed they can be analyzed through open coding, which consists of a close 

textual reading line by line to determine portions of text that can develop potential categories 

(Lindlof & Taylor, 2002).  Throughout this process a constant comparison of categories should 

be conducted in which each new code is compared against former codes to ensure consistency of 

coding and reliability in data (Strauss & Corbin, 1990).  Once the initial set of categories is 

determined the data can then be inserted into a codebook.  A second close reading of the data 

should be conducted, consisting of axial coding, in which the initial categories are re-analyzed to 

find connections where codes can be formed that either merge existing categories or identifies 

categories as irrelevant to the overall goals of the study and abandoned.  At this point, codes 

transition from the previous descriptive form of coding to a more analytical/theoretical coding 

process by re-examining the data under the lens of the main theoretical assumption of the study. 

Conclusion

This paper sought to propose a merger of quantitative and qualitative methodologies to 

analyzing social networks.  This approach opens many new research implications for 

interdisciplinary fields that had previously only approached network analysis from a strictly 

quantitative perspective.  A few hypothetical research studies have been proposed throughout 

22



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