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Social Network Analysis: A Mixed-Methodological Approach
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: MIXED-METHOD NETWORK ANALYSIS addresses this power as a selective entity, not applicable to everyone (especially those affected  by the digital divide) and impacted by inclusion/exclusion to the network.  As the global network  society selectively diffuses throughout the world it leaves an impact on various cultures,  organizations and institutions.  So even though not everyone can participate in the network  society, the network society impacts everyone globally (Castells, 2009). Based on these first two perspectives of social networks and network analysis,  Himelboim and Chang (2010) propose an intersection of theoretical and empirical-based  research.  The authors identify three points of convergence between the two bodies of literature:  “the definition of networks as self-organized systems, the dynamics of growing inequalities in  networks, and the short distances within networks” (p. 31).  Castells defines networks as “non- hierarchical”, meaning social actors can interact with one another freely without restriction from  external powers.  Himelboim and Chang (2010) see this as an overlap between network analysis  literatures, in which networks are defined as self-organizing systems.  The self-organization  aspect hinges on the fact that no external powers structure the networks and therefore social  actors within the network create their structure from within.   The second overlap seen between these two bodies of literature is “the dynamic of  growing inequalities in networks” (p. 31).  In Castells’ concept of the network society he  addresses the role of capitalism, where information becomes a commodity and networks are  determined as wealthy depending on the amount of information they can disseminate.  According  to Himelboim and Chang (2010), this coincides with the preferential attachment theorem, which  essentially states that the rich get richer based on distribution of resources in accordance with  how much one already owns.  In accordance with this theory, the capitalistic distribution of  information as wealth is unequally distributed, which contributes to the growing inequality  8

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

addresses this power as a selective entity, not applicable to everyone (especially those affected 

by the digital divide) and impacted by inclusion/exclusion to the network.  As the global network 

society selectively diffuses throughout the world it leaves an impact on various cultures, 

organizations and institutions.  So even though not everyone can participate in the network 

society, the network society impacts everyone globally (Castells, 2009).

Based on these first two perspectives of social networks and network analysis, 

Himelboim and Chang (2010) propose an intersection of theoretical and empirical-based 

research.  The authors identify three points of convergence between the two bodies of literature: 

“the definition of networks as self-organized systems, the dynamics of growing inequalities in 

networks, and the short distances within networks” (p. 31).  Castells defines networks as “non-

hierarchical”, meaning social actors can interact with one another freely without restriction from 

external powers.  Himelboim and Chang (2010) see this as an overlap between network analysis 

literatures, in which networks are defined as self-organizing systems.  The self-organization 

aspect hinges on the fact that no external powers structure the networks and therefore social 

actors within the network create their structure from within.  

The second overlap seen between these two bodies of literature is “the dynamic of 

growing inequalities in networks” (p. 31).  In Castells’ concept of the network society he 

addresses the role of capitalism, where information becomes a commodity and networks are 

determined as wealthy depending on the amount of information they can disseminate.  According 

to Himelboim and Chang (2010), this coincides with the preferential attachment theorem, which 

essentially states that the rich get richer based on distribution of resources in accordance with 

how much one already owns.  In accordance with this theory, the capitalistic distribution of 

information as wealth is unequally distributed, which contributes to the growing inequality 

8



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