- Series: Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences (Book 27)
- Paperback: 362 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press (January 10, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521602629
- ISBN-13: 978-0521602624
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,507,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Exploratory Social Network Analysis with Pajek (Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences)
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"Exploratory Social Network Analysis with Pajek, is an introduction to both network analysis in general and to the Pajek package in particular. It is an excellent book for the beginner: clearly written, well presented, comprehensive and engaging." -Nick Crossley, Sociology
This is the first textbook on social network analysis integrating theory, applications, and professional software for performing network analysis (Pajek). Pajek software and datasets for all examples are freely available, so the reader can learn network analysis by doing it. In addition, each chapter offers case studies for practicing network analysis. In the end, the reader has the knowledge, skills, and tools to apply social network analysis in all social sciences, ranging from anthropology and sociology to business administration and history.
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The book is an easy read and nicely complements the manual - in fact I think it could easily replace the manual.
I learnt that Pajek is actually quite a bite easier to use than I first thought. Having played around with Pajek after reading the book I found I could manipulate my datasets in new ways. That said I am not a convert to Pajek.
I did like the examples and the explanations that went with them. Even if I never use Pajek again the book is useful simply because the examples explain rather than describe many of the complexities and pitfalls of network analysis. Read in conjunction with other publications like Wassermann and Faust's "Social Network Analysis. Methods and Applications" the student of network analysis should gain a solid theoretical understanding of network analysis and be able to read network studies more critically. I also found the many exercises in the book most useful. They progressively built and reinforced understanding and competence in Pajek, as well as understanding of network ideas.
So all in all I would give the book a five-star rating - five stars for readability and five stars for the learning by doing approach. It has a place on the bookshelf of even serious student of network analysis.
I do have two complaints about this text, however. The first is that, some of the network examples and practice questions correspond to pre-fabricated data files that are not included with the book say, for example, as a CD-Rom where you could load files onto your desktop. Moreover, despite Pajek being a valuable tool for dealing with large networks, the text largely deals with analysis of very small samples. Granted, there is a feasibility not only in examining, but illustrating such small networks, but very few tutorials will provide guidelines and outline the caveats of dealing with larger networks.
Despite this, for those who are new to social networking analysis and particularly the software side and using Pajek, this is a good starting point that is easy to understand.
Each chapter of this book highlights an important type of analysis and takes the reader through doing the analysis step-by-step using the freeware software package Pajek (Slovenian for "spider"). Pajek allows the user to do a huge range of analysis and visualize it. It can work with large networks. Tho book does not assume knowledge SNA and explains the motives for the types of analysis so that after going through the book the reader has the basic skills to both do SNA and understand the studies that have been done using SNA.