Doctoral candidate Patrick Habecker recently presented a paper titled, “Understanding Social Network Size Variation among Nebraskans Using the Network Scale-up Method” at the annual International Sunbelt Social Network Conference in a session focused on network data collection. The presentation focused primarily on a new estimation process for the network scale-up method (Habecker et al. 2015) and how the resulting calculation of personal network size varied by demographic factors among a representative sample of Nebraskans. The principle findings were that the new estimation process performs better on two metrics than traditional formulations and that there are several sizeable differences in social network size. Nebraskans living in urban areas are on average expected to have personal networks that are 34% smaller than Nebraskans living in rural areas. Those who self-identified as middle-of-the-road politically on average have 16% smaller expected personal networks. Nebraskans with a 4 year college degree were expected on average to have a 24% larger personal network than those with a high school degree or less. Within the urban subgroup education continues to be associated with personal network size such that those with some college are on average expected to have networks that are 60% larger than those with a high school degree or less, and those with a 4 year degree are on average expected to have personal networks that are 74% larger than those with a high school degree or less. In the rural subgroup neither education nor political identity was associated with expected personal network size. Other papers in the session included titles such as “Integrating Approaches to Place, Time and Social Networks using Agent Based Modelling;” “An Emic View of Coupon Passing Decision Making and Reality in Respondent Driven Sampling;” and “An Inductive Typology of Egocentric Networks.”
Dr. Robin Gauthier, a Post-Doctoral researcher at the REACH lab also presented her work with co-authors Kirk Dombrowski, Bilal Khan and Joshua Moses on the community of Nain, Labrador at the Annual Sunbelt Meeting of the International Network for Social Network Analysis in Newport Beach, CA. The work presented explored the patterns of relationships that connect people in the community through multiple facets of social life, including alcohol co-use, country-food sources, traditional knowledge sources, among many others. Distinct relational patterns were found to correspond to individuals’ demographic characteristics, and their particular interactions with the Canadian state. The results highlight the importance of a holistic approach to understanding perceptions of problems and problem solving strategies in a community setting.
Colleen Syron, a REACH Lab faculty affiliate, also presented a poster at the Sunbelt conference. Her poster focused on how to utilize graphic design principles and data visualization to disseminate research findings.