Doing qualitative network analysis
Stefan Bernhard  1@  , Andreas Herz  2, *@  
1 : Institute for employment research
2 : University of Hildesheim
* : Corresponding author

In the recent past, more and more network researchers have relied on qualitative approaches to social networks. The state-of-the-art, however, is somewhat biased: While there is ample discussion on qualitative network data collection there is much less discussion on analytical strategies of qualitative network data. Future developments in qualitative network analysis need to address this imbalance since, ultimately, advancements in social network research have always been advances in analytical rigor.  The organized session “Doing Qualitative Network Analysis” contributes to this agenda. It invites contributions that engage in methods, methodology and theoretical prerequisites of qualitative network analysis. All papers should focus on the research process, i.e. on qualitative analysis as a research practice.

Amongst others, papers may focus on the following questions:

  • What do the various strands of qualitative research (such as narrative inquiry or ethnography) offer for the analysis of social networks?

  • How can network maps be analysed in a qualitative manner?

  • What role do visualisations play in a qualitative analysis process? Are there specific qualitative approaches to the analysis of network visualisations?

  • How can qualitative analysis software be integrated in the qualitative network research process?

  • What methods are applied to analyse and code network data?

  • How do methodical procedures relate to methodological and theoretical positions?


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