Network Analysis in the Social Sciences
Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of interest in network research across the physical and social sciences. For social scientists, the theory of networks has been a gold mine, yielding explanations for social phenomena in a wide variety of disciplines from psychology to economics. Here, we review the kinds of things that social scientists have tried to explain using social network analysis and provide a nutshell description of the basic assumptions, goals, and explanatory mechanisms prevalent in the field. We hope to contribute to a dialogue among researchers from across the physical and social sciences who share a common interest in understanding the antecedents and consequences of network phenomena.