Integrated Network Science: Social Network Analysis with R

This workshop is an introduction to Social Network Analysis, based on the presenter's forthcoming book with Cambridge University Press of the same name. The objectives are to introduce attendees to the theory and methods of social network analysis; to show how social network ideas and techniques help inform the study of teams in a variety of settings; and to familiarize attendees with how these methods used in R for beginning to analyze network data.

Topics covered will include: an overview of network theory, the core methods of network analysis, data collection techniques, basic visualization, the structural analysis of roles, social influence, and dynamic models on tie formation and dissolution.

The workshop will benefit those in the SciTS community looking to get a better sense of how social network analysis may be a useful tool for pursuing their theoretical and substantive research interests. It will also be useful for those already familiar with social network methods, but who are looking to update their skills by moving into the R environment for modeling networks.

The target audience is very broadly defined as any researcher wanting a concise overview of the field of social network analysis, and those who want a practical hands-on experience for doing social network analysis in a state-of-the-art programming environment.

The workshop with consist of three parts:

  • Part I will consist of an overview of Social Network Theory with a special focus on the application to teams, group dynamics, social learning, and so on
  • Part II will consist of an introduction to Social Network Methods, and the practicalities of gathering and analyzing network data
  • Part III will consist of Social Network Practice in the form of a few labs in R, which will be distributed to students prior to the workshop.

Participants are encouraged to bring laptops for the lab component. Prior to the workshop, instructions for how to load R and necessary packages will be distributed, so that attendees are able to follow along during the session.


Craig Rawlings, PH.D., is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Duke University. He is a faculty associate in the Duke Network Analysis Center (DNAC) and the Duke Population Research Institute (DuPRI). His research focuses on social influence and cohesion in groups using social network theories and methods. He has studied these processes in a number of contexts, from scientific collaborations to book clubs and communes. He is currently looking at classroom network dynamics, conflict, and human development in preschoolers. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and was an Institute for Education Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University. Prior to coming to Duke, he taught at Northwestern University.