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Qualitative social network analysis with ATLAS.ti

McKether, Willie L.; Friese, Susanne

Zentraleinrichtung Campusmanagement (ZECM)

Anthropologists have a rich tradition of using a networked approach in data analysis. The purpose of this article is to continue that tradition by demonstrating how social network analysis can be used by anthropologists to improve their analysis and reporting of ethnographic data, and thereby expanding the methodological tool kit traditionally used by anthropologists. We use a case study based on a 1967 social movement aimed at increasing black power in a small Midwestern community in the United States to demonstrate the utility of network analysis in ethnographic studies and reporting, particularly ones that use oral or life story narratives as primary data sources. In addition to examining the data through Multinet, we also expand the Network View functionality in ATLAS.ti in our analysis. We suggest that the networked approach taken in this case study can be used by anthropologists across all four subfields as a method to show relations embedded in the ethnographic data anthropologists are known for collecting.