Lecturers:Jürgen Lerner (University of Konstanz), Miranda Lubbers (Autonomous University of Barcelona), José Luis Molina (Autonomous University of Barcelona), Thomas B Smith (University of Florida), Gabriel Hâncean (University of Bucharest) and Alejandro García-Macías(Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes).
The aim of this summer course is to enable graduate students and researchers in the social sciences to create personal network research designs and to analyze personal network data. The course is a mix of lectures and computer sessions. On the first morning, we will discuss the basic definitions and central concepts in personal network research and we will briefly relate personal networks (sometimes called egocentric networks) with various theoretical streams in the social sciences. This will give students an understanding of the different requirements that researchers may pose to their designs or instruments. We will then introduce the basic steps of measurement of personal networks. The second morning is focused on delineating the networks. Students will be introduced to the variety of name generators and alternative approaches used in the social sciences, which will be compared with respect to contents, the characteristics of the measured networks and ties, the reliability and validity of the measures, and respondent burden. On the third, fourth and fifth morning, we will discuss the statistical analysis of personal networks with R. The participants will have ample opportunity to discuss their own research projects using personal networks.