How do we interact with people in our everyday life? Who are the people we are connected to? What are the consequences of overlapping social circles and how people deal with the potential emerging conflicts? What are the structural and cultural mechanisms that regulate social worlds? Network science is a scientific approach to the study of network dependencies and associations which tries to answer these and many other questions. This book explores the underlying mechanisms that regulate social life as they are produced, reproduced, modified, and abandoned in the spatial and temporal patterns of interactions. The mixed methods approach, that combines formal network analysis with qualitative materials and statistical tools, shows the importance of contextualising structural mechanisms in their social and cultural environment, and allows overcoming the traditional methodological boundaries that shape the field of social sciences.
1. Introduction 2. Paradigm War and the Roots of Social Networks 3. The Constitutive Bricks of Qualitative Networks: Actors, relations, networks 4. Talking Ties: Micro processess of local structures in friendship networks 5. Ethnography of Overlapping Networks: Resource exchange in street groups 6. Scientific Communities: Describing social worlds in research collaborations 7. Coda