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Social Network Analysis and Education

Social Network Analysis and Education
Theory, Methods & Applications

First Edition

An applied book designed for those current and aspiring educational researchers learning how to study, conceptualize, and analyze social networks.

March 2013 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
This book provides an introduction to the theories, methods, and applications that constitute the social network perspective. Unlike more general texts, this title is designed for those current and aspiring educational researchers learning how to study, conceptualize, and analyze social networks. The author's main intent is to encourage you to consider the social network perspective in light of your emerging research interests and evaluate how well this perspective illuminates the social complexities surrounding educational phenomena. Whether your interests lie in examining a peer's influence on students' achievement, the relationship between social support and teacher retention, or how the pattern of relations among parents contributes to schools' norms, the tools introduced in this book will provide you with a slightly different take on these and other phenomena. Unlike other approaches, this perspective accounts for the importance of relationships within formal structures, and the informal patterns of interaction that emerge, sustain, or recede. Relying on diverse examples drawn from the educational research literature, this book makes explicit how the theories and methods associated with social network analysis can be used to better describe and explain the social complexities surrounding varied educational phenomena.

Part I. Theory and Concepts
Chapter 1. The Social Network Perspective and Educational Research
Chapter 2. Historical, Theoretical, and Analytical Foundations
Chapter 3. Basic Concepts
Part II. Methods and Measures
Chapter 4. Collecting and Managing Network Data
Chapter 5. Structural Measures for Complete Networks
Chapter 6. Groups and Positions in Complete Networks
Chapter 7. Measures for Egocentric Networks
Part III. Applications and Examples
Chapter 8. An Introduction to Statistical Inference with Network Data
Chapter 9. Network Data and Statistical Models
Chapter 10. Social Capital
Chapter 11. Diffusion
Chapter 12. Looking Back, Looking Ahead


Instructor Teaching Site

The instructor teaching site features:

·         PowerPoint Slides

Student Study Site

The student study site features:

·         How-to Guides for social network analysis software applications

·         Example Data Sets

·         Glossary of Key Terms

·         eFlashcards

“I have no doubt that this text is a groundbreaking addition to the knowledge of this particular field.”

Donald W. Good
East Tennessee State University

“I value the way the author has conceptualized a very broad field and has organized it into a coherent, cohesive text. I think the weaving in of specific examples is key to the work’s success and will make the book stand apart.”

Alan J. Daly
University of California, San Diego

“The writing style makes network theory and methods accessible to researchers who have limited experience in conducting network analysis.”

August E. Grant
University of South Carolina

A book on Social network analysis that shed lights on Education area. Very interesting to those interested on the technique.

Mr Marcos Ferasso
Business Administration , Federal University of Parana
February 11, 2016

Found it user friendly

Dr Mark Malisa
School Of Education, College of St Rose
August 22, 2013

Clear and accessible. Useful for those involved in educational research -- perhaps too focused on educational examples for more generic classes on social network analysis.

Dr Brenda Berkelaar
Communication Studies Dept, University of Texas at Austin
July 30, 2013
Key features


  • Balancing students' needs for conceptual understanding and opportunities for applied experiences, this title draws on insights from numerous disciplines and maintains a sharp focus on how social network analysis can be applied to the field of education.
  • Access to network data sets provides students and instructors with information that can be used to replicate the analyses cited throughout the text.
  • Carolan introduces students to both classic and current applications of social network analysis in and around the field of education.
  • Numerous tables and figures visually highlight the text's major points.
  • Part I provides three chapters that collectively introduce foundational concepts and make the case that social network analysis provides educational researchers with a different way of thinking about and measuring an array of processes and outcomes. This way of thinking and measuring explicitly accounts for the importance of one's relationships with others, as well as for the larger pattern in which these relationships are embedded.
  • Part II consists of four chapters, focusing on the methods and measures that constitute the empirical tools used in social network analysis. Carolan carefully acknowledges the inherent complexities of this material, while limiting the computational aspects when possible.
  • Part III offers five chapters, building on the material in the two previous Parts to apply the knowledge to network-based studies, demonstrating how the methods and measures are applied in the context of educational research.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 6

Sage College Publishing

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Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Research Methods, the ultimate digital methods library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.