Changing times: migrants’ social network analysis and the challenges of longitudinal research

Ryan, Louise and D'Angelo, Alessio (2018) Changing times: migrants’ social network analysis and the challenges of longitudinal research. Social Networks, 53 . pp. 148-158. ISSN 0378-8733

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Abstract

Focusing on migrant social networks, this paper draws upon the sociology of time to incorporate complex notions of temporality into the research process. In so doing, we consider firstly, the challenge of going ‘beyond the snapshot’ in data collection to capture dynamism through time. Secondly, we apply the concepts of timescapes to explore ways of addressing the wider context and the interplay between spatiality, temporality and relationality in migration research. We argue that integrating a mixed methods approach to SNA, crucially including visualisation, can provide a useful methodological and analytical framework to understand dynamics.

SNA can also be helpful in bridging the personal and structural dimensions in migration research, by providing a meso level of analysis. However, it is also important to connect the investigation of local and transnational networks with an analysis of the broader social, economic and political contexts in which these take shape; in other words, connecting the micro and the meso with the wider macro level. Drawing upon reflections from our migration research studies, we argue that different combinations of quantitative, qualitative and visual methods do not just provide richer sets of data and insights, but can allow us to better connect conceptualisations – and ontologies – of social networks with specific methodological frameworks.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Migration research; Temporality; Spatiality; Mixed methods; Visualisation
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Social Policy Research Centre
Item ID: 21530
Depositing User: Alessio D'angelo
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2017 16:50
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2019 11:45
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/21530

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