851-0252-07L  Open Debates in Social Network Research

SemesterAutumn Semester 2019
LecturersC. Stadtfeld, T. Elmer, A. Vörös
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentNumber of participants limited to 30


AbstractSocial network research develops through contributions from many scientific disciplines. Among others, scholars of sociology, psychology, political science, computer science, physics, mathematics, and statistics have advanced theories and methods in this field - promoting multiple perspectives on important problems. We will put acclaimed (network) theories into perspective with current research.
ObjectiveResearch on social networks has developed as a highly interdisciplinary field. By the end of this seminar, students will be able to identify and compare different discipline- and subject-specific approaches to social network research (coming mostly from sociology and psychology). They will be familiar with recent publications in the field of social networks and be able to critically participate in a number of open debates in the field. Among others, these debates are centered around the types and measurement of social relations across different contexts, the importance of simple generative processes in shaping network structure, the role of social selection and influence mechanisms in promoting segregation and polarization.

Learning Objectives:
- Know the most relevant social network terminology and concepts
- Know the most relevant sociological and psychological social network theories
- Be able to develop meaningful social networks research questions
- Be able to design your own social networks study
- Critically examine empirical social networks research
ContentSocial network research develops through contributions from many scientific disciplines. Among others, scholars of sociology, psychology, political science, computer science, physics, mathematics, and statistics have advanced theories and methods in this field - promoting multiple perspectives on important problems. We will critically examine acclaimed (network) theories of sociology and psychology and put them into perspective with current research. This course aims to present and structure open debates in social network research with a focus on social network processes, individual outcomes, and emergent phenomena.