"So Look, I Will, I Will Move Them There"—Negotiating, Collecting, and Analyzing the Dynamics of Social Networks

  • Annika Müller
Keywords: ego-centered network, network dynamics, network development, network formation, qualitative network analysis, interviews, computer-based network map, qualitative structural analysis, digital nomads


In the existing literature on social network analysis a variety of trends can be found that networks should not be understood as static structures, but as dynamic relationships. But when examining the existing debate on structural changes in networks, it turns out that scholars still use statically determined network concepts for their research. This is where the present article begins: How can these dynamics actually be made visible and how can they be fruitfully integrated into the research process? First, I focus on moments of reflection, negotiation, and consolidation of network(dynamic)s during data collection and documentation process. Second, I examine to what extent the merging of narrative and visual dynamic network elements can be incorporated in the data analyses in a potential-generating way. Empirical examples are used for illustration. The data material consists of guided interviews in combination with laptop-based procedural ego-centered network maps. These were collected with VennMaker and resulted in an audio-visual film, which served as a basis for the investigation of network formation and changes. The qualitative structural analysis approach was followed for the evaluation.


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Author Biography

Annika Müller

Annika MÜLLER, Dr. phil., studierte Soziologie an der Universität Konstanz (BA) und der Ruprecht Karls‐Universität Heidelberg (MA). Anschließend promovierte sie im Rahmen des DFG-Graduiertenkollegs 1474 "Transnationale Soziale Unterstützung" am Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. Ihre Arbeitsschwerpunkte sind (Eliten-)Mobilität und (Lebensstil-)Migration, Transnationalisierung, Digitalisierung und Wandel von Arbeit sowie qualitative soziale Netzwerkanalyse.

How to Cite
Müller, A. (2021). "So Look, I Will, I Will Move Them There"—Negotiating, Collecting, and Analyzing the Dynamics of Social Networks. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 22(2). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-22.2.3601