Conducting Personal Network Research

A Practical Guide

Christopher McCarty, Miranda J. Lubbers, Raffaele Vacca, and José Luis Molina

A Paperback Originale-bookprint + e-book
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April 1, 2019
ISBN 9781462538386
Price: $49.00
270 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
February 22, 2019
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270 Pages
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Read the Series Editor's Note by Todd D. Little

1. Introduction sample

What Is This Chapter About?

1.1 Everyone Has a Personal Network

1.2 The Size, Composition, and Structure of Personal Networks

1.3 Egos, Alters, Egocentric Networks, and Sociocentric Networks

1.4 Should I Use Personal Network or Whole Network Analysis?

Box: Combining Personal and Whole Networks

1.5 Who Is This Book For?

1.6 Book Overview

Chapter Summary

2. How Personal Networks Have Been Used So Far

What Is This Chapter About?

2.1 A Brief History of Personal Network Analysis

Box: The Bott Hypothesis about Conjugal Roles and Social Networks

Box: Clyde Mitchell and the Manchester School

Box: The Small World Experiment

Box: The East York Studies

2.2 What We Currently Know about Personal Networks

2.3 Theoretical Frameworks for Effects of Personal Networks on Individual Outcomes

2.4 Final Remarks

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

3. Developing a Research Question

What Is This Chapter About?

3.1 Research Questions, Hypotheses, and Objectives

3.2 Outcomes and Social Determinants

3.3 Real or Perceived?

3.4 Some Examples of Questions and Hypotheses in Personal Network Research

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

4. Getting Started: Selecting a Population, Survey Mode, and Sampling Frames

What Is This Chapter About?

4.1 Deciding Whether Personal Network Analysis Is Appropriate

4.2 Selecting a Population

Box: Neighborhood Networks and Status

Box: Emotional Support and Cognitive Functioning among the Elderly

Box: Social Support and Smoking in African American Adults

4.3 The Survey Mode

4.4 The Sampling Frame

4.5 Integration with Larger Surveys

4.6 Identifying Dependent and Explanatory Variables

Box: Loneliness and Dementia

Box: Personal Networks and Ethnic Identity

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

5. Questions about the Ego

What Is This Chapter About?

5.1 Variables and Research Aims: What Questions to Ask

Box: Personal Networks and Social Support: Comparing Two Ethnic Groups in Southern California

5.2 Levels of Measurement

Box: Needle-Sharing and Personal Network Correlates

5.3 Wording a Question

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

6. Delineating Personal Networks: Alter Elicitation

What Is This Chapter About?

6.1 What Is a Name Generator?

Box: Contact Lists in Phones and Personal Networks

6.2 How Social Ties Are Stored in Memory and How They Are Recalled

Box: Probing

6.3 Defining the Boundaries of Personal Networks

6.4 Name Generators for Eliciting Intentional (Nonrandom) Subsets of Alters

Box: Multiple Name Generators for Social Support

Box: Single- and Multiple-Name Generators

6.5 A Name Generator for Eliciting a Random Subset of Alters

6.6 Additional Qualifiers of the Network Boundary

6.7 Alternative Approaches to Name Generators

Box: Keeping Diaries of Contacts during Three Months and Beyond

6.8 Final Remarks

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

7. Collecting Alter Attributes

What Is This Chapter About?

7.1 What Is a Name Interpreter?

7.2 What We Really Know about Alters

Box: Alters’ Real Attributes or the Ego’s Perception of Their Attributes?

7.3 Questions about the Attributes of Alters

7.4 Questions about Relationships between the Ego and the Alter

Box: Tie Strength: Closeness, Duration of Relationship, or Frequency of Contact?

Box: Level of Knowing, Duration of Relationship, and Frequency of Contact

Box: The Friendship Label

7.5 How Many Questions about Alters? Respondent Burden

Box: Ordering Questions about Alters Alterwise or Questionwise

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

8. Collecting Data about Ties between Alters

What Is This Chapter About?

8.1 What Is an Edge Interpreter?

8.2 What We Really Know about Alter–Alter Ties

8.3 Alter–Alter Prompts

Box: Detailed Answer Categories for Smaller Personal Networks

8.4 Respondent Burden

Box: The Reliability of Respondents’ Evaluations of Alter–Alter Ties

Box: A Different Way to Explore Network Structure and Composition

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

9. Visualizing Personal Networks

What Is This Chapter About?

9.1 Personal Network Visualization: Basic Principles

9.2 Collecting Personal Network Data through Visual Displays

9.3 Network Visualizations as Cues in Qualitative Interviews

9.4 Comparing Personal Networks through Visualizations

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

10. Measuring Personal Network Characteristics without Generating Names

What Is This Chapter About?

10.1 Characteristics of Larger Personal Networks

10.2 Personal Network Size

Box: The Random Mixing Assumption in the Network Scale-Up Method

10.3 Social Distance

10.4 Social Capital

10.5 Social Support

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

11. Analyzing Personal Network Composition and Structure

What Is This Chapter About?

11.1 Summarizing Name Interpreters and Edge Interpreters by Respondents

11.2 Creating Simple Compositional Variables from Personal Networks

Box: How to Use SPSS for Working with Personal Network Data

11.3 More Advanced Compositional Variables

Box: The Power of Homophily

11.4 Creating Simple Structural Variables from Personal Networks

Box: To Include or to Exclude Ego?

Box: Personality and Personal Network Structure

11.5 Creating Compositional Variables Based on More Than One Attribute

11.6 Creating Variables That Combine Composition and Structure

Box: 11.7 Adding Compositional and Structural Variables to the Dataset

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

12. Statistical Modeling with Personal Network Data: The Level of Egos

What Is This Chapter About?

12.1 Personal Network Data and Statistical Modeling

12.2 Predicting Ego-Level Dependent Variables

12.3 Models for Non-Network Dependent Variables

Box: Using Personal Network Characteristics to Predict Immigrant Assimilation

Box: The Effect of Personal Network Exposure on Reproductive Health Behavior

Box: A Longitudinal Analysis of Personal Support Networks and Depression

Box: Using Cluster Analysis to Find Types of Immigrants’ Personal Networks

12.4 Models for Network Dependent Variables

Box: Predicting Network Dependent Variables with Generalized Linear Models

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

13. Statistical Modeling with Personal Network Data: The Level of Alters and Ties

What Is This Chapter About?

13.1 Statistical Models for Alters or Ego–Alter Ties

Box: Testing Theories on Social Support with Hierarchical Models for Personal Networks

13.2 Statistical Models for Alter–Alter Ties

Box: Modeling Alter–Alter Ties to Study Transitivity and Homophily

Box: Using Personal Networks to Estimate Whole Network Characteristics through ERGMs

Box: Using SAOMs to Examine the Evolution of Alter–Alter Ties over Time

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

14. Ethics in Personal Network Research

What Is This Chapter About?

14.1 Personal Network Research and Ethical Dilemmas

14.2 Gaining Consent

14.3 Confidentiality

Box: Incentives and Respondent-Driven Sampling

14.4 Social Media and Mobile Phones

14.5 Managing and Publishing Personal Network Data

Box: Doing Network Research in Organizational Settings

Chapter Summary

Further Reading