Course—SNA in Social-Ecological Studies



Using Social Network Analysis in (Urban) Social-Ecological Studies


I have given a PhD course on network analysis in social-ecological studies in Cape Town and Phoenix, apart from various lectures. Below follows the latest version of the course description and syllabus. 


Full course description with syllabus. 
Version: 2010-10-13.

This course will give you basic knowledge in social network theory (SNA) and how you can generate empirical social network data and start analyzing empirical case studies, especially case studies in relation to urban natural resource management or other contemporary social-ecological situations. Social network analysis is the study of how patterns of relations between individuals or organizations give rise to power, the sharing of knowledge, and the diffusion of ideas, all crucial for understanding contemporary natural resource management as witnessed by emergent literature using SNA in this field (e.g. (Schneider et al. 2003, Bodin et al. 2006, Ernstson et al. 2008, Prell et al. 2009). Whereas more traditional quantitative sociology focused on sampling characteriscs of individuals like age, class etc. and build explanations from that, the core analytical unit in SNA is the relation between actors, and the network of relations between all actors that this give rise to.

Bring your own case study. The course strongly encourages students to bring their own case studies and an important feature of any case study is that it somehow strives to understand issues of natural resource management and/or other types of social-ecological dynamics. The course focuses on urban problems, but students with other case studies are warmly welcome to apply.

Main aim is to develop your own SNA case study. Indeed, the main aim of the course is to support students to develop their own case studies so that they can embark on performing these case studies after the course. This means that the course uses theory and previous research to discuss fundamental choices that one needs to make such as: what should be seen as a node/actor, a link/tie, and where and how to empirically set the boundary of a social network (which nodes and links to include and exclude). The course will discuss different ways by which one can generate network data, including the construction of social network questionnaires, but also how to analyze data.

Lecturing, self-study and feedback to support SNA case study. The course starts in Mid-January through that the student reads selected literature and hands in a preparatory essay (5 pages) in which his/her concrete case study is discussed in light of the literature (February 13). The lecturer then provides extensive feedback on this essay two weeks before March 6 when the course meet in Phoenix. This will be followed by three days of intense course work and lecturing at ASU including theory, method and how to use the software package UCINET to analyze real network data. Complementary to this there will be one-to-one sessions in the evenings with the lecturer to discuss individual case studies. After March 8, the students will also be able to hand in their essays once more to receive yet more extensive feedback in developing their case studies. The course will then form an e-forum to continue discussing how case studies develop throughout the year.

Examples of case studies. Examples of case studies that have used social network theory and methodology have ranged from studies of small-scale fisheries in Eastern Africa and Mexico (Crona and Bodin 2006, Ramirez-Sanchez and Pinkerton 2009), policy network studies (Schneider et al. 2003, Sandström and Carlsson 2008), stakeholder selection and analysis (Prell et al. 2009), and civil-society mobilization to protect and manage urban green areas and ecosystems (Ernstson et al. 2008); see also on “transformative collective action”, (Ernstson accepted)). From a previous SNA course given in Cape Town in 2009 students engaged in a row of case studies that are now ongoing, ranging from understanding the role of civil-society organizations in restoring habitat and ecological processes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, how collaborative ties in the private sector can generate less water consuming residential gardens in Phoenix, how immigrant social networks shapes interaction with urban nature to inform planning in Helsinki, and support networks in informal settlements in Istanbul.

Apart from students from the field of natural resource management and sustainability, students from other fields of research such as sociology and geography can also benefit from the course. If you still have questions regarding content and how you might benefit from course, please contact Dr Henrik Ernstson (e-mail below).

Application details. There are 10 participants to be selected. Apply through a 2-page letter of intention to Dr Henrik Ernstson that (i) explains your interest in using social network analysis, (ii) describes a potential case study to which you would like to use social network analysis, and (iii) how such a case study would fit within your PhD work. Also attach a 1-2 page CV. Send this to: henrik.ernstson@stockholmresilience.su.se before December 1, 2010. Participants will be notified no later than December 31, 2010. The course will entitle you to a number of course study points (to be announced later).

Course lecturer and examiner: Dr Henrik Ernstson


Syllabus and description of the course days in Phoenix, 6-8 March, 2011

Rationale for the course 
Ecologists and other natural scientists interested in issues of natural resource management are increasingly discovering the need to study the social aspects. Social aspects range from the obvious questions, such as how do human actions ‘affect’ the environment, to more complex and subtle questions pertaining to issues of class, power, discourse, conflicts, and consensus; and how these aspects shape the way we govern natural resources. More and more often, defining what aspects of the environment need protecting or managing, and defining how those interventions can or can not occur, rely largely on the knowledge, expertise and the willingness/possibilities for collaboration and coordinated actions of various individuals and groups, ranging from the ones who are interacting with the environment in a day-to-day manner to those higher up in political and administrative hierarchies. That is, broadly speaking, the stakeholders.

Into this discussion enters the issue of social relations among relevant stakeholders, and the role of those relations in influencing the way natural resources are governed. Just as understanding of the environment has moved towards a systems’ perspective of interacting parts and emergent wholes, so has the notion of understanding human and social behaviour moved from an atomist model, where individuals are studied in a case-by-variable format, to one of seeing individuals in the context of their relationships with others. People and organizations do not live in social vacuums, and their views and behaviours are influenced and shaped by those with whom they interact. Gaining insight into those relationships, and how the patterning and structure of those relationships influence attitudes, perspectives, and behaviours towards resource management is what this workshop is about.

The central tool of the course for gaining these insights is social network analysis (SNA), which can be seen as a set of theoretical statemens paired with a mathematical toolbox (in the form of available software programs) that can be used to analyze social network data generated from field studies and surveys. The output of such analysis can both aid in choosing the ‘right’ stakeholders for collaborative management, or to deepen understanding on social dynamics related to ecological systems.

Shedule for course days (preliminary)

BEFORE MEETING IN PHOENIX
Each participant will hand in a short preparatory essay summarizing key-messages of the sent-out literature (see above for date). The essay should strive to link the literature to possible case studies that they would like to carry out. Essay 2-3 pages long.

DAY 1, March 6, 2011 (NB! This is a Sunday!)
-       Theoretical underpinnings of social network analysis. This walk-through of theory will discuss central concepts of SNA such as nodes/actors, links/ties, centrality, clustering, broker etc. Case-studies and published papers that have used social network analysis to gain insights into how social processes influence social and ecological dynamics will be used. Both recent publications from natural resource management will be used as well as classics from sociology.
-       Practical work to generate social network data. Nodes, links and boundary of networks: How to set up a network study? What could be a node and a link in a certain case study? How to make those decisions as a researcher? How to set the boundary of the network (i.e. which nodes and actors should be included or excluded in the network)? Here I will employ my experience from my studies in Stockholm, but also from current work in Cape Town to discuss these questions on how to actually DO social network research in urban landscapes.

DAY 2, March 7, 2011
-       Practical work to analyze real-world social network data sets. By using data sets from my own studies and studies made by collegues at the Stockholm Resilience Centre we will divide into groups and use data programs to analyze social networks in different ways. Data programs will be UCINET. The very useful online textbook by Hanneman and Riddle will be used as reference (Hanneman and Riddle 2005) (downloadble as pdf below).

DAY 3, March 8, 2011
-       Interpretation of social network analyzes in natural resource management. How can we use social network analysis to understand social processes in relation to urban natural resource mangament? How can social network analysis be used to select the ‘right’ stakeholders for collaborative management? We will again use published papers to discuss these issues but also tie back to the work done the previous day.
-       Discussing how to DO network analysis research in the particpants own case studies. Group discussions on possible cases from the participants own cities which will be moderated by myself and then deliberated in the bigger class.
-       Summing-up and recapitulate what has been learnt.

AFTER THE COURSE DAYS
-       Second-round essays. After the course days in Phoenix all participants should develop their prepatory essays into a longer essay that further develop their idea on how to conceptualize their research questions and how to generate empirical social network data. Extensive feedback will be given to these essays.
-       Creating an e-forum / mailing list among participants. We will establish a mailing list in which further discussions regarding case studies can be discussed.

Literature and reading
A list of literature to be read will be sent out in advance. See list at the end of this document as indication.

Pedagogic learning opportunities in the course
-       Lectures
-       Group discussions
-       Working with software to analyse real social network data
-       Reading literature before and during the course
-       Writing essay to which extensive feedback will be given

After the workshop participants should have attained the following knowledge and skills
-       to know the basics of social network theory and where to go to find out more
-       to know the basics of how to plan and carry out survey and field work to generate social network data in case studies
-       to have basic skills in analyzing social network data through available software programs
-       to have aquired enough knowledge and skills to embark on their own case studies (or alternatively, have the knowledge to start developing a concrete case study)

Preparations before the workshop
-       to read literature designated as obligatory
-       to have discussed with collegues and/or supervisors in the participant’s own research group about possible case studies in which social network analysis might be a good tool to analyze urban natural resources management and the governance of ecosystem services.

Examination
In order to be approved from the course, students will need to:
-       Prepatory essay
o   Hand in preparatory essay on time
o   Demonstrate that they have read the literature and can use some of its concepts and theories
o   Describe ideas for how to engage in their own case study using the literature
-       Course days
o   Pariticpate all three days in an active way
-       Second round essay
o   Hand in second round essay on time
o   Demonstrate that they are on their way towards developing their own case study

Other issues
Software and hardware. We will have access to a computer room at ASU, but you can also use your own computer. The software programme UCINET can be downloaded as a 30 day trial-version (PC only, so those using Mac will need to use Parallels or similar).

Example of literature (to be completed and might change)
This is a selective reading list for those interested in starting to use social network analysis (SNA) in social-ecological studies.

The first good empirical study using social network analysis in the social-ecological field is by Schneider et al. (2003) on collaborative networks in estuary management. Together with Örjan Bodin and Beatrice Crona we summarized a set of arguments for the value of SNA for NRM studies in Bodin, Crona and Ernstson (2006), whereas a summary of empirical studies were made later (Bodin and Crona 2009). Christina Prell, Klaus Hubacek, Mark Reed and others have published on stakeholder selection and social learning (Prell et al. 2009), and Saduiel Ramirez-Sanchez has studied fisheries in Mexico (Ramirez-Sanchez and Pinkerton 2009). A good study for those interested in dynamic policy proceses is by Sandström and Carlsson (2008). An interesting application using 2-mode network analysis was recently made by Andrés Marín and Fikret Berkes on small-scale fisheris in Chile (Marín and Berkes 2010). (In an upcoming book edited by Bodin and Prell several of these authors are contributing with chapters, and some of these chapters might replace some of the articles in the final reading list of the course.)

One of the first urban applications using SNA in social-ecological studies was my study of social movements and the protection of urban ecosystems in Stockholm (Ernstson et al. 2008)(See also connection to cultural framing theory and qualitative data (using ANT) in Ernstson and Sörlin (2009).). This has lead to an articulation of “transformative collective action” in an upcoming chapter (Ernstson accepted). Together with collegues, we used social network theory to understand adaptive governance through synthesizing several urban case studies in Stockholm (Ernstson et al. 2010) that could be useful for all interested in multi-scale governance and social learning. An inspiration for me when it comes to urban areas, social movements and social networks has always bin Mario Diani (see e.g. Diani (1992), Diani and McAdam (2003), and Diani and Bison (2004). (More urban social-ecological studies using SNA are upcoming, partly as a result of when I gave this course in 2009 in Cape Town.)

The above mentioned references can serve as entrypoint to the course (those marked with * below are less central), but should be complemented with the following from the SNA field: the short but effective review by Borgatti et al. (2009), the classic by Granovetter (1973), and the very useful SNA textbook and handbook to UCINET by Hanneman and Riddle (2005) (downloable for free, see below). Other good textbooks are Scott’s (2000) and Degenne and Forsé’s (1999). For those getting serious (!), a must-have is still the SNA “cookbook” by Wasserman and Faust (1994). The exact reading list might however still change.

References
(Those marked with * in the list indicates that you can initially skip these. Those marked with ** have notes at the end).

Bodin, Ö., B. Crona, and H. Ernstson. 2006. Social networks in natural resource management: What is there to learn from a structural perspective? Ecology and Society 11:r2.
Bodin, Ö. and B. I. Crona. 2009. The role of social networks in natural resource governance: What relational patterns make a difference? Global Environmental Change 19:366-374.
Borgatti, S. P., A. Mehra, D. J. Brass, and G. Labianca. 2009. Network analysis in the social sciences. Science 323:892-895.
Crona, B. and Ö. Bodin. 2006. WHAT you know is WHO you know? Communication patterns among resource users as a prerequisite for co-management. Ecology and Society 11:7.
**Degenne, A. and M. Forsé. 1999. Introducing Social Networks. Sage Publications, London.
*Diani, M. 1992. The concept of social movement. Sociological Review 40:1-25.
*Diani, M. and I. Bison. 2004. Organizations, coalitions and movements. Theory and Society 33:281-309.
*Diani, M. and D. McAdam, editors. 2003. Social Movements and Networks: Relational Approaches to Collective Action. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Ernstson, H. accepted. Transformative collective action: a network approach to transformative change in ecosystem-based management. Page Ch 11 in Ö. Bodin and C. Prell, editors. Social Networks and Natural Resource Management: Uncovering the Social Fabric of Environmental Governance. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Ernstson, H., S. Barthel, E. Andersson, and S. T. Borgström. 2010. Scale-crossing brokers and network governance of urban ecosystem services: The case of Stockholm, Sweden. Ecology and Society:in press.
Ernstson, H. and S. Sörlin. 2009. Weaving protective stories: connective practices to articulate holistic values in Stockholm National Urban Park. Environment and Planning A 41:1460–1479.
Ernstson, H., S. Sörlin, and T. Elmqvist. 2008. Social movements and ecosystem services - the role of social network structure in protecting and managing urban green areas in Stockholm. Ecology and Society 13:39.
Granovetter, M. 1973. The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology 76:1360-1380.
**Hanneman, R. A. and M. Riddle. 2005. Introduction to Social Network Methods. University of California (published in digital form at http://faculty.ucr.edu/~hanneman/), Riverside, CA.
Marín, A. and F. Berkes. 2010. Network approach for understanding small-scale fisheries governance: The case of the Chilean coastal co-management. Marin Policy in press.
Prell, C., K. Hubacek, and M. Reed. 2009. Stakeholder Analysis and Social Network Analysis in Natural Resource Management. Society & Natural Resources 22:501-518.
Ramirez-Sanchez, S. and E. Pinkerton. 2009. The impact of resource scarcity on bonding and bridging social capital: the case of fishers’ information-sharing networks in Loreto, BCS, Mexico. Ecology and Society 14:22.
Sandström, A. and L. Carlsson. 2008. The performance of policy networks: the relation between network structure and network performance. Policy Studies Journal 36:497-524.
Schneider, M., J. Scholz, M. Lubell, D. Mindruta, and M. Edwardsen. 2003. Building consensual institutions: networks and the National Estuary Program. American Journal of Political Science 47:143-158.
**Scott, J. 2000. Social Network Analysis. A handbook. 2 edition. Sage Publications, London.
Wasserman, S. and K. Faust. 1994. Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

** As textbook, choose either Scott, or Degenne and Forsé. Hanneman and Riddle can also be used as a textbook, but is also an instructive manual for UCINET.

Download Hanneman and Riddle 2005 here (it’s freeware): http://faculty.ucr.edu/~hanneman/nettext/
Or here:




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Below follow further instructions used in communicating with students during the course.


Starting the course!

Dear students,

I am so glad that we can finally get this course starting. I am sorry for slight delay but you will still have plenty of time to read the material and work with your essay. In this e-mail I have sent you the list of the articles you need to read (download them through links given), the prepratory essay assignment that I want you to work with and hand-in in time, and a set of short questions that I want you to answer.

The following is included in this document:
-       A. Introduction
o   Some questions you should answer regarding if you will bring a laptop and if you are vegetarians and so forth…
o   Timeline for the course including deadlines
o   Some notes
-       B. Reading list
-       C. Essay assignment



A. INTRODUCTION

1. Essay and reading material

I have attached the essay assignment and I have put all reading material in my DropBox; just download the files through clicking on the links below at “Reading material”. The task for you now is to read the essay questions, start reading the articles, and work with the essay.

The idea with the essay is to give you the chance to engage with basic social network theory and methods – as described in the articles – and use this knowledge to think through your own case study and start developoing a robust methodology, i.e. linking your (initial) research questions to methods aiming at generating robust social network data that can be used to answer your research questions. The essay thus gives you the opportunity to learn about theory, methods, and to engage further in your case study. When you have finalized the essay you send it to me and I will have the time to give you feedback before we meet in Phoenix.

See the essay as an excersize, i.e. it is not a test, but a crucial way for us to build a relation with each other. It is through the written text that I can understand not only more about your case studies, but also how and to what extent you have been able to use SNA to structure your research problem. After our days in Phoenix you will be able to re-write the essay again and receive further feedback. Thus, see the essay as a first attempt for you to confront your case study with SNA. Be observant of the problems that you feel arise and express them in the essay. These observations by you will help me structure the three days we have together in Phoenix so that those days can be as helpful as possible for your future endevour with your case studies.

I hope this serves as an introduction to the crucial role that the preparatory essay plays in this course. The specific questions of the essay are outlined in the attached document. The deadline is specified in the time line below (Feb 20). Reading material is posted at the bottom of this e-mail.

2. Short questions that we need information on

To further plan the course, our course assisstant Kelly need some further information from you.

-       Will you bring a laptop? If you are not bringing a laptop we need to organize for a computer for you to use during the course.
-       To plan for foods and light snacks we need to know if you are vegetarian, vegan, lactos intolerant etc.?

3. Further notes
-       Software 1: We will be using the UCINET software program to analyze data. This software can be downloaded as a 30-day trial version from this web page: XX. However, if you are serious in using SNA you should of course ask your supervisors for them to pay for a licence. The cost is quite low. I would encourage you to download UCINET and check out Hanneman and Riddle 2005 book online free book (see reading list) that you can use to get aquainted not only with UCINET, but with SNA more generally.
-       For those of you (like me) that has a Mac, there is unfortunately no Mac version of UCINET. I use Parallels Desktop and run my UCINET in that way. You can also use Bootcamp (free), but this requires to re-start the computer and boot it as a Windows machine. Of course this requires you to also have Windows
-       Software 2: There are various other softwares that can be used but which we will not use in the course, e.g. Gephi (freeware), plug-in for Excel (google).

4. This is the time line for the course

December 1 – Deadline for application, 2 pages + CV
December 31 – Notification if students have entered the course
January 10 – Extended deadline to attract more ASU students
January 19 – Send out literature and essay assignment (should have been January 17)
January 19 – Start reading course literature
February 20 – Deadline preparatory essay
February 26 – Feedback on preparatory essay
March 6-8 – Course days in Phoenix
April 8 – Hand in second round essay
April 22 – Feedback on second round essay
April 29 – Results of examiniation and sending out course certificate
May and beyond – Work with case studies and join NASEBERRY community to share questions and experiences.


5. Course information

Course dates: 6-8 March, 2011
Time: 9:00 – 17:00 (We might move first day to 10 am, we will let you know.).
Venue: Somewhere on the ASU Tempe Campus in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Excact location to be announced later.
Costs: The course is free of cost for ASU students (other will need to double check with Kelly Turner if there are any costs. It seems it will be no costs.).

NB! Please note that the first course day in Phoenix is on early on a Sunday (March 6, 2011).

Course lecturer and examiner: Dr Henrik Ernstson (henrikDOTernstson_AT_stockholmresilienceDOTsuDOTse)
Course assisstant ASU: Kelly Turner (who took the course in Cape Town in 2009;
Senior contact at ASU: Prof Charles Redman, ASU School of Sustainability
Organizer: ASU School of Sustainability

6. Reading material (see also separate document, next pages)
The compulsary articles to read can be downloaded through these links (the same links are given in the Reading List document as well): [NOT given here.]

Best regards,
Henrik


B. READING LIST

Course:
Using Social Network Analysis in Urban Social-Ecological Studies
6-8 March, 2011 at Arizona State University, Phoenix
Henrik Ernstson

The following articles are to be read before we meet in Phoenix and used for working with the essay assignment. I have placed the articles in a suggested reading order with general SNA theory and concepts first, then how SNA has been used to analyze natural resource management problems in social-ecological studies (also referred to as NASES). Then follows various case studies, urban and non-urban, that are helpful for you to see how others have robustly generated social network data and used social network analysis as a tool to answer their research questions. In total the compulsary part of the reading is some 195 pages of text (excluding references).

Note that those marked with * in the list below are non-compulsary. They are given as suggestive literature you can also read. [All those lacking an asterisk is compulsary reading.] 

General on SNA – start here!

Borgatti, S. P., A. Mehra, D. J. Brass, and G. Labianca. 2009. Network analysis in the social sciences. Science 323:892-895. [Longer pre-publication pdf version can be found on Stephen Borgatti's homepage here.]
- Short and to the point introduction to the field of social network theory and SNA by one very central scholar. Summarizes effectively main theoretical contributsion that the field has made to our understanding of social dynamics and indiviual behaviour. Also gives historical background. --- 4 pages.

Wasserman, S. and K. Faust. 1994. Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. [Selected pages.]
- The selected pages explains about nodes, links, boundary and selections that needs to be made if one wants to use SNA in case study work. Central to your essay. --- 29 pages.

Borgatti – short note on different centrality measurments in networks. --- 2 pages.

Borgatti, S.P. and P.C. Foster. 2003. The Network Paradigm in Organizational Reserach: A Review and Typology. Journal of Management 29(6):991-1013.
- Natural resource management is about ‘management’ and this article serves us well as it runs through trends on how SNA has been used in management studies, including notes on social capital. --- 15 pages.

Granovetter, M. 1973. The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology 76:1360-1380.
- This is one of the most highly cited papers in sociology, and perhaps in the world of (social) science. Mark Granovetter’s classic is furthermore a beatuifully structured text where he eloquently demonstrates what you can do with some simple principles – explaning diffusion of ideas, to collective behaviour and capabilities. --- 19 pages.

*Butts, C.T. 2009. Revisiting the Foundations of Network Analysis. Science 325:414-416.
- A short but useful paper on the foundations of network analysis.

*Diani, M. 2003. Introduction: social movements, contentious actions, and social networks: 'from metaphor to substance'? Pages 1-18 in M. Diani and D. McAdam, editors. Social Movements and Networks: Relational Approaches to Collective Action. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- This chapter by Mario Diani and Doug McAdam on how the field of social movement theory has made use of SNA is a very good introduction into network theory and how to bring the metaphor of ‘social networks’ into something more concrete and analytically useful.

General on SNA in NRM / NASES
(NASES – Network Analaysis in Social-Ecologial Studies)

Bodin, Ö., S. Ramirez-Sanchez, H. Ernstson and C. Prell. 2011 (in press). A social relational approach to natural resource governance. Ch 1 in Ö. Bodin and C. Prell, editors. Social Networks and Natural Resource Management: Uncovering the Social Fabric of Environmental Governance. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Gives good arguments for why SNA can be useful to use in NRM and social-ecological studies. --- 15 pages.

Bodin, Ö., B. Crona, and H. Ernstson. 2006. Social networks in natural resource management: What is there to learn from a structural perspective? Ecology and Society 11:r2. URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol11/iss2/resp2/
- One of the first theoretical papers that makes the argument that SNA is useful for NRM and social-ecological studies. The first study ever, I would argue, is Schneider et al. 2003, which is furthermore a useful empirical study to read (see in list). --- 5 pages.

Ernstson, H., S. Barthel, E. Andersson, and S. T. Borgström. 2010. Scale-crossing brokers and network governance of urban ecosystem services: The case of Stockholm. Ecology and Society 15(4):28.
- This article uses case studies (that has not necesarilly used SNA) to think through adapative governance through a social network perspective. It is useful also for non-urban studies. For this course it should be seen as theoretical study. Burt’s idea of brokers are developed as ‘scale-crossing brokers’, being ties that bridge between groups that interact with ecological processes at different scales. --- 13 pages.

Case studies, NASES
The following case studies will help you to think through how you can work with your case studies. See these studies as examples of what is possible, and as inspiration for how you can translate your case studies to meaningful and useful social network data.

Case-studies, urban NASES

Ernstson, H., S. Sörlin, and T. Elmqvist. 2008. Social movements and ecosystem services - the role of social network structure in protecting and managing urban green areas in Stockholm. Ecology and Society 13(2):39. URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol13/iss2/art39/
- The first urban SNA study in NRM and social-ecological studies. Case study. Analysis of transformative change. The article also demonstrates how qualiative data can be combined with quantitative social network data. Useful as it demonstrates how to capture the ties between a large set of civil society organizations. --- 14 pages.

Ernstson, H. 2011 (in press). Transformative collective action: a network approach to transformative change in ecosystem-based management. Ch 11 in Ö. Bodin and C. Prell, editors. Social Networks and Natural Resource Management: Uncovering the Social Fabric of Environmental Governance. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Using Diani and Bison (2004) this article uses empirical data to analyze and develop the concept of “transformative collective action” at the intersection between social-ecology/NRM and social movement theory. --- 17 pages.

Case-study, non-urban NASES

Crona, B. and Ö. Bodin. 2006. What you know is who you know? Communication patterns among resource users as a prerequisite for co-management. Ecology and Society 11:7. URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol11/iss2/art7/
- Case study from a marine social-ecological system. Ties between villagers/households. --- 10 pages.

Prell, C., K. Hubacek, and M. Reed. 2009. Stakeholder Analysis and Social Network Analysis in Natural Resource Management. Society & Natural Resources 22:501-518.
- On how to use SNA to select stakholders. --- 11 pages.

Sandström, A. and L. Carlsson. 2008. The performance of policy networks: the relation between network structure and network performance. Policy Studies Journal 36:497-524.
- Useful policy network study demonstrating how to capture the ties between persons involved in a dynamic process. --- 23 pages.

Schneider, M., J. Scholz, M. Lubell, D. Mindruta, and M. Edwardsen. 2003. Building consensual institutions: networks and the National Estuary Program. American Journal of Political Science 47:143-158.
- First study ever, I would argue, in the field of SNA in NRM. Very useful. --- 11 pages.

Bodin, Ö. and B. I. Crona. 2009. The role of social networks in natural resource governance: What relational patterns make a difference? Global Environmental Change 19:366-374. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2009.05.002
- To finalize your reading of case studies comes here this summary of a row of studies using SNA in NRM. --- 7 pages.

Case studies fron non-NRM contexts

*Diani, M. 2003. 'Leaders' or brokers? Positions and influence in social movement networks. Pages 105-122 in M. Diani and D. McAdam, editors. Social Movements and Networks: Relational Approaches to Collective Action. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- A case-study into how organizational ties can be studied to locate leaders, coalitions and brokers.

*Ansell, C.K. 2003. Community embeddedness and collaborative governance in the San Francisco Bay Area environmental movement. Pages 123-144 in M. Diani and D. McAdam, editors. Social Movements and Networks - Relational Approaches to Collective Action. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- A case study on interorganization ties to study embeddness and how that influence attitudes or strategies of organizatoins.

*Diani, M. and I. Bison. 2004. Organizations, coalitions and movements. Theory and Society 33:281-309.
- Study that shows how to analyze relations between organizations in an urban setting.

Textbooks on SNA

*Hanneman, R. A. and M. Riddle. 2005. Introduction to Social Network Methods. University of California (published in digital form at http://faculty.ucr.edu/~hanneman/), Riverside, CA.
- For free and gives very good introduction to SNA through using UCINET. Very good for further studies as it shows how to do.
Download here (it’s freeware): http://faculty.ucr.edu/~hanneman/nettext/
Or here as a pdf-document: http://bit.ly/fTxndV

*Degenne, A. and M. Forsé. 1999. Introducing Social Networks. Sage Publications, London. [Review for this book can be found here.]

*Scott, J. 2000. Social Network Analysis. A handbook. 2 edn. Sage Publications, London.


Other good articles in different topics

*Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic action and social structure: the problem of embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, 91(3), 481–510.
- Another classic by Granovetter on explaning social action.

*McPherson, M., L. Smith-Lovin, et al. (2001). Birds of a feather: homophily in social networks. Annual Review of Sociology, 27, 415–444.
- Another classic on homophily, that we tend to interact with those that are like us.

*Portes, A. 1998. Social Capital: Its Origins and Applications in Modern Sociology. Annual Review of Sociology 24:1-24.
- Very good introduction and review of the social capital literature.

*Lin, N. 1999. Building a Network Theory of Social Capital. Connections 22(1):28-51.
- For those interested in social capital, you can read Lin and Portes’ articles.

*Burt, R.S. 2004. Structural holes and good ideas. American Journal of Sociology 110(2):349-399.
- For those interested in brokerage you can read this by Ronald S. Burt. However, the network mechanism idea behind brokerage comes back in several other articles (with refernce to Burt).

*Emirbayer, M. and J. Goodwin. 1994. Network analysis, culture and the problem of agency. American Journal of Sociology 99:1411-1454.
- For those interested in how agency and culture relate to SNA, read this masterpiece by Mustafa Emirbayer.

*Diani, M. 1992. The concept of social movement. Sociological Review 40:1-25.
- Classic in which social movements are defined from a social network perspective.
 


C. ESSAY ASSIGNMENT

Using Social Network Analysis in Urban Social-Ecological Studies
6-8 March, 2011 at Arizona State University, Phoenix

Essay - preparatory writing and reflection
Hand in essay: February 20 (no later than 23:59 J)
Length: 4-5 pages
Total pages to read: Approx. 195 pages.
Feedback on essay: February 26. (no later than 23:59 J )

Many of you come from different academic backgrounds. The compulsory literature serves to give a basic introduction to social network methods, analysis and theory, along with some of the latest literature on the specific focus of using social network theory in the context of natural resource management and social-ecological studies. During the course I will also hand out an extended literature list to which we will keep adding relevant literature collectively during and after the course depending on your case studies and interests.

The aim of the essay is for you to have a chance to capture some of your thoughts while reading the literature. The first part of the essay gives you the chance to start thinking about how to relate your case study to social network theory and how you could go about to generate social network data. The second part of the essay asks you to reflect upon social network theory more generally.

NB! This is just an exercise, not a test. It’s a chance for you to get some feedback from me before we see each other in Phoenix.


Part 1. – Nodes, links, attributes and boundary (approx. 2.5 pages)

Question: Given the pre-understanding of your case study, how would you in your case study translate the network concepts of nodes, links, attributes and boundary? (If you still have not chosen a concrete case study, choose a study site that you are familiar with.)

Social network analysis is about analyzing the patterns of relations between certain social entities. A main objective of this course is to give you the basic understanding and skills to perform you own social network study. Therefore, already in this essay I want you to focus on the four concepts of NODES (or actors), LINKS (or ties), ATTRIBUTES and BOUNDARY.[1] These are the basic concepts that you need to define and think through in any empirical network study (regardless if it is a social, ecological, or social-ecological study).

Here NODES (or actors) are some bounded social entity defined by the analyst. It could be individuals, organizations (voluntary organizations, private company and state agency), or even nations. LINKS are the relations between nodes, which could be the exchange of information, asking each other for advice, and material support (for example if one organization funds another organization). ATTRIBUTES are characteristics of the nodes that do not directly originate from their relations to other nodes. Attributes could be the age of a person, the number of employees in an organization, or their attitude towards collaborating with for instance state agencies. BOUNDARY is a criteria used by the analyst to define which nodes (or actors) to include and exclude from the network. A boundary could be defined using geographical space (only those living in a certain neighborhood), by organization (only those working in a specific organization), by attribute (only those younger than 25 years of age), by phenomena (only those engaged in protecting or managing a certain urban green area), or something else. 

When it comes to empirical social network studies, we as researchers need to define what is relevant – in our specific case study – to be considered as NODES, LINKS, ATTRIBUTES and BOUNDARY, which should be related to our overarching research questions or interest. In this part of the essay I would like you to start reflecting on what these four concepts could mean in your case study. Through reading the literature, especially those articles with empirical social network data, you will be able to see how other researchers have defined their nodes, links, attributes and boundary, which could help you reflect on how you could go about in your case study.

In your answer, please give reference to the literature when appropriate.


Part 2. – First reflection on social network theory (approx. 2.5 pages)

Reading through the literature I would like you to reflect freely on two issues:

Question 2a: What do you find most interesting and intriguing with social network analysis?

Question 2b: What do you find to be the possibilities and constraints of using social network analysis? This means for example to ask yourself: Which of all your questions regarding an empirical case study (you’re own or other) seems to be most effectively captured with social network methods? And which seems to be difficult to capture with social network methods, i.e. where do you find the constraints of this particular approach to understanding real-life case studies?

Question 2c: How to capture the social-ecological dimension or the social-ecological interaction in a study? Thinking about the NRM/NASES case studies you have read, how do authors, if at all, strive to capture or take care of the social-ecological dimension of their studies. For instance, in my study Ernstson et al. (2008, 2011), I “fold” a social-ecological dimension into the attribute of the actors. Since organizations spends various times in the park landscape doing different things, I used this “user-intensity” (calculated as a linear combination of the amount of days and the type activity that different organizations are doing in the park landscape) as a rough measure of their social-ecological interaction. In what ways does social actors and social relations shape or entangle with ecological processes in yours and others study, and how can that be captured somehow? Think about your study and the studies you have read and reflect upon this.

In your answer, please give reference to the literature when appropriate.

Best regards and see you soon in Phoenix,
Henrik.



[1] Alternatively nodes and links are referred to as vertices and edges (in graph theory) or actors and ties (in sociology).






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