ERIC Number: ED202886
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr-13
Reference Count: 0
Reappraisal of Social Network Research in Educational Contexts.
Three network studies in education are reviewed in order to assess the current "state of the art." New directions for developing social network analysis (SNA) in education, based upon experiences from a study of school-community relations in Pontiac, Michigan, are suggested. One concern for the future of SNA stems from the elevation of distrust among participants in a turbulent environment such as Pontiac's. As a result, the kinds of reflective questions that are posed by network researchers are often greeted with suspicion and apathy making data difficult to verify. Another concern is that the attention focused on structure may obscure the interest in process. A third concern is for the explanatory usefulness of SNA. From an ecological perspective, education should be incorporated at the local level within a more general social service rubric that includes youth groups, churches, recreational agencies, child health agencies, and family organizations. The major tasks confronting network researchers are: (1) developing more adequate data collection techniques that can be validated; (2) incorporating more dynamic analyses of network processes; and (3) linking network research studies to theoretical development in many disciplines. (RL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Social Networks
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (65th, Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).