Music culture as a social network (Fall 2011)

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These days, social networks seem to be everywhere, especially with the advent of "social networking" as a catchphrase, new web-based social networking services, and popularization of social network concepts such as "six degrees of separation". But the idea of using graph theory to understand social groups goes back nearly a century, while the existence of social networks dates to the dawn of humanity, if not before...

This seminar-workshop provides students specializing in the arts and humanities with a gentle introduction to contemporary social network analysis, in theory and in practice, with applications to ethnomusicology (the study of music culture as a social practice). You won’t merely read about social network analysis, you’ll actually do it!

Course work and goals include (1) weekly reading and problem-solving exercises, to help reinforce concepts of social network analysis; (2) “lab work”, using a software tool (Pajek) to manipulate and display network data, further reinforcing concepts, and teaching you how to analyze data; (3) collaborative fieldwork; (4) analyzing and interpreting fieldwork data in term papers.

Required texts:

Robert A. Hanneman and Mark Riddle. Introduction to social network methods (also available as a pdf.

Wouter de Nooy, Andrej Mrvar, and Vladimir Batagelj, Exploratory Social Network Analysis with Pajek, illustrated edition. (Cambridge University Press, 2005). Available in the SUB bookstore.

John P Scott, Social Network Analysis: A Handbook, 2nd ed. (Sage Publications Ltd, 2000). Available in the SUB bookstore.

Optional texts:

Linton C. Freeman, The Development of Social Network Analysis: A Study in the Sociology of Science (Empirical Press, 2004).

Wasserman, Stanley and Faust, Katherine. Social network analysis methods and applications. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press; 1994.

Required software (free!):

Pajek for Windows or Mac