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The Biographical Network Method

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  • Neil Armitage

Abstract

This article introduces a network visualization method that enables a thorough analysis of the link between life history and social networks. Network visualizations are generally static, and as such they tend to disguise rather than uncover change and continuity within networks, and the influence that certain events may have on someone's sociability. The Biographical Network (BN) is a mixed method approach combining life story interviews with formal SNA that attempts to overcome the consequences of this lack of dynamism in network visualizations. In the first part of the article the underpinnings of the BN design and the logistics of the method are outlined in relation to a doctoral study on cultural cosmopolitanism. In the second part findings from applying the BN method with 28 young British and Spanish adults living in Madrid and Manchester are used to demonstrate its utility and its limitations for sociological analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Neil Armitage, 2016. "The Biographical Network Method," Sociological Research Online, , vol. 21(2), pages 165-179, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:socres:v:21:y:2016:i:2:p:165-179
    DOI: 10.5153/sro.3827
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    File URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.5153/sro.3827
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Louise Ryan & Jon Mulholland & Agnes Agoston, 2014. "Talking Ties: Reflecting on Network Visualisation and Qualitative Interviewing," Sociological Research Online, , vol. 19(2), pages 1-12, May.
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