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Regular version of the site
Postgraduate course 2019/2020

Methods of network analysis with R in social sciences

Type: Elective course
Area of studies: Sociology
Delivered by: School of Sociology
When: 2 year, 1 semester
Mode of studies: Full time
Instructors: Valentina Kuskova
Language: English
ECTS credits: 4

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The program of the course builds up the minimum requirements to the knowledge and skills of an PhD student and determines the content and types of classes and assessment. The program is designed for teachers of this discipline, learning assistants and students of sociology and political science PhD programs. The program is developed according to: • Educational Program of NRU HSE • University Academic Plan of NRU HSE for PhD level education, confirmed in 2018.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The goal of the course is ensure that PhD students understand topics and principles of network analysis.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • To provide students with an understanding of the basic principles of network analysis and lay the foundation for future learning in the area.
  • • To develop student familiarity, through hands-on experience, with the major network modeling pro-grams, so that they can use them and interpret their output.
  • • To develop and/or foster critical reviewing skills of published empirical research using network analyt-ic methods.
  • • To explore the advantages and disadvantages of various network analytic tools and methods, and demonstrate how they relate to other methods of analysis.
  • • To provide students with an understanding of the basic principles of network analysis and lay the foundation for future learning in the area.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Network Approach in Social Science Research
    Social network analysis: Methods or theory? Structural approach. Interdisciplinary interest in network analysis. Network theories most popular in sociology. Key network concepts: network, structure, nodes, ties, sociogram, structural and compositional variables, etc. Types of network data. Sampling and data collection in network analysis
  • Network Data, Matrices, Graphic Representation of Social Networks, and Basic Network Measures
    Survey instruments for collecting network data. Network data collection and ethical issues. Basic measures of network characteristics. Graphic representation of network relations.
  • Personal Ties and Social Support
    Network measures for dyads and triads. The forbidden triad. Clustering. Identifying tightly connected groups and subgroups in social networks. Small-world phenomenon. Homophily principal in personal rela-tionships. Cultural and historical differences in network connectivity. Personal ties and social support.
  • Position Analysis in Social Networks
    Centrality and Influence. Measures of Centrality. Two-mode networks: transformation, graphical repre-sentation, and analysis. Centrality and two-mode networks in the studies of power and influence.
  • Ties that Benefit
    The strength of weak ties. Social capital at the individuals and community level. Social capital in com-panies’ economic activities. Social capital in the labor market and its role in social mobility. Structural holes in competition.
  • Social Networks in Society
    Social networks and education. Representation of mental models as social networks. Diffusion of in-novation through social networks. Social networks and technology. Deviant behavior, crime and social net-works. Social stratification, social change, and social networks.
  • Network models in R
    Readings and assignments will be handed out in class.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Homework x5
  • non-blocking Seminars x10
  • non-blocking Quizzes x10
  • non-blocking Final Project
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (1 semester)
    0.5 * Final Project + 0.2 * Homework x5 + 0.1 * Quizzes x10 + 0.2 * Seminars x10
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • McPherson, M., Smith-Lovin, L., & Cook, J. M. (2001). BIRDS OF A FEATHER: Homophily in Social Networks. Annual Review of Sociology, 27, 415. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.27.1.415