IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Biographical Network Method


  • Neil Armitage


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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Alessio D'angelo & Louise Ryan & Paola Tubaro, 2016. "Visualization in Mixed-Methods Research on Social Networks," Sociological Research Online, , vol. 21(2), pages 148-151, May.
    2. Elisa Bellotti, 2016. "Qualitative Methods and Visualizations in the Study of Friendship Networks," Sociological Research Online, , vol. 21(2), pages 198-216, May.
    3. Nick Crossley & Gemma Edwards, 2016. "Cases, Mechanisms and the Real: The Theory and Methodology of Mixed-Method Social Network Analysis," Sociological Research Online, , vol. 21(2), pages 217-285, May.
    4. Paola Tubaro & Louise Ryan & Alessio D'angelo, 2016. "The Visual Sociogram in Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Research," Sociological Research Online, , vol. 21(2), pages 180-197, May.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:socres:v:21:y:2016:i:2:p:165-179. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.