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Keynote and Simmel Award recipient

Freeman Award Presentation

Program Overview

Workshops at Sunbelt 2019

Organized Sessions at Sunbelt 2019






Oral presentations and posters

November 22nd, 2018, 6:00 - February 1st, 2019, extended to February 8th, 2019, 23:00 EDT (UTC-5:00). (CLOSED)


Organized sessions and workshops 

September 10th, 2018, 6:00 - October 26th, 2019, 23:00 EDT (UTC-5:00). (CLOSED)



Keynote and Simmel Award recipient


Katherine Faust is a professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine where she is also affiliated with the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences.  Her research has focused on comparing network patterns across different forms of social relations and animal species, developing methodology for characterizing local network structure (especially triads),  describing constraints on local network processes, and understanding relationships between social networks and demographic processes. She is co-author (with Stanley Wasserman) of Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications (which is sometimes referred to as the “Bible” of social network analysis) and her findings have been published in Social Networks, the American Journal of Sociology, Sociological Methodology, the Journal of Social Structure, the American Journal of Psychology, the Annual Review of Criminology, and the Journal of Royal Statistical Society, among other outlets. Her work has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and National Consortium on Violence Research.


Faust earned her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Pomona College and her doctorate and master’s in social science from UC Irvine. She held two-year National Institute of Mental Health postdoctoral fellowship in quantitative psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  She was on the faculty in the sociology department at the University of South Carolina for thirteen years before returning to UC Irvine in 2001. She has held elected roles on the boards of the International Network for Social Network Analysis (serving terms as treasurer and as vice president) and American Sociological Association Section on Methodology and Section on Mathematical Sociology.   She co-edited Connections for several years and has served on the editorial boards of Social Networks, Network Science, and Sociological Methodology.




Freeman Award Presentation


Kayla de la Haye, PhD 

Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine 

Keck School of Medicine 

University of Southern California 


Kayla de la Haye is an Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California. She works to promote health and prevent disease by applying social network analysis and systems science. Her research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Defense, targets family and community social networks to promote healthy eating and prevent childhood obesity. It also explores the role of social networks in group problem solving in families, teams, and coalitions. Dr. de la Haye previously worked as an Associate Behavioral/Social Scientist at the RAND Corporation, and she is a current member of the Board of Directors of the International Network of Social Network Analysis (INSNA). In 2018, she received the INSNA Freeman Award for significant contributions to the study of social structure. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Adelaide, Australia.




Program Overview


  AM PM Evening


June 18th

Workshops Workshops




June 19th

Workshops Parallel paper sessions

Freeman Award Presentation

Hospitality Suite


June 20th

Parallel paper sessions Parallel paper sessions


Dinner Cocktail

Hospitality Suite


June 21st

Parallel paper sessions Parallel paper sessions


Hospitality Suite



June 22nd

Parallel paper sessions

Business Meeting

Parallel paper sessions

Poster Session

Hospitality Suite


June 23rd

Parallel paper sessions  


























You can download a pdf version containing the description of each workshop in alphabetical order and the workshops schedule.





Organized Sessions

Note: all sessions are listed in alphabetical order. You can also download a pdf version here.


Click on the title of the session you want to view:





Title: Advances in multiplex, multimode and multilayer networks: methods and applications

Organizer: Matteo Magnani

Co-organizers: Luca Rossi, Maria Prosperina Vitale and Giancarlo Ragozini


Session Description: In multilayer social networks, actors and their connections are organised into groups called layers, so that the relations between layers can be used as a part of the network analysis process. Notable types of multilayer networks that have been studied for a long time in social network analysis are multiplex and multimode networks, the former allowing the existence of multiple types of edges between the same set of actors, the latter allowing the existence of different types of actors. Multilayer networks have recently emerged as a generalisation of these approaches to deal with the complex nature of human relations.

This session will focus on recent methodological advances for the analysis of multiplex, multimode and multilayer networks. Visualisation, clustering and community detection, as well as the definition of new network measures still represent open challenges. At the same time, presentations of substantive applications are welcome.


More specifically, topics for this session include:

1. Developments in computational and statistical methods for multilayer networks.
2. Multilayer network measures and modeling.
3. Applications of multilayer networks.
4. New software for multilayer networks.


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Title: Advances in Socio-Semantic Network Analysis

Organizer: Adina Nerghes

Co-organizers: Nikita Basov, Lina Hellsten, Camille Roth and Johanne Saint-Charles


Session Description: People, groups, and organizations are linked (or separated) not only by social ties but also by a variety of cultural representations – such as discourses, knowledge, beliefs, claims. Over the recent years scholars have explored the interplay between the two through a network perspective, shedding new light on how the social and the cultural realms are intertwined, how meaning and interactions coevolve, how cognitive and relational structure affect one another and so on. This emerging framework, where semantic and social network data are being jointly appraised, still poses a number of theoretical and methodological challenges. This organized session aims at addressing some of these challenges and invites interested participants to submit theoretical, methodological or empirical papers, contributing (but not limited) to one or several of the following thematic areas:

- Theorizing about relationships between social structure and meaning or content structure;
- Qualitative and quantitative methods to relate meaning and interactions or relationships;
- Multilevel and multimode socio-semantic networks;
- Using semantic network data to capture social structures between actors;
- Correlations between semantic similarity and social ties;
- Joint semantic network analysis of messages and social network analysis of information channels;
- Semantic structuring throughout conversations in networks.
- Connecting macro- and micro-level social and semantic network patterns


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Title: Computational Social Science and Social Network Theory

Organizer: James Kitts


Session Description: Classical social network theories typically assume that a network is a temporally continuous structure that may be measured directly (as on a survey) or may be inferred as a latent regularity in social interaction events. In the latter, consider how researchers aggregate interactions into a count of events during a time interval, compare that count to a threshold, and interpret the aggregated interactions as a ‘network’ that existed continuously throughout the interval. For example, more than 5 emails or phone calls in a month may be defined as a “tie” for that month. Lenses emerging from the interdisciplinary field of computational social science – wearable sensors, location-aware devices, electronic calendar meetings, logs of phone calls, messages, online transactions, etc. – produce streaming histories of events that have supported a recent explosion of large scale empirical social network analysis. Most of this work aggregates interaction events over time, turning time-stamped events into temporally continuous ties, allowing researchers to apply conventional social network theories. For example, researchers prominently apply structural balance theory to understand transitivity in a network of aggregated email sending events. Some recent work has moved beyond temporal aggregation to directly analyze structural-temporal dependencies in interaction events, using cutting-edge methods of statistical network analysis. Given the paucity of concepts, frameworks, and theories to help us understand structural-temporal dependencies of interaction events, much of that empirical work has been atheoretical or has bent conventional network theories to apply to event rates instead of ties. This conference session will consider two kinds of contributions: 1) Theoretical or conceptual papers that aim to help us develop or adapt social network theories to the context of streaming interaction data; 2) Empirical papers that analyze dynamic patterns of interaction events and try to grapple with those patterns using explicit theories about the underlying processes.


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Title: Corporate Networks

Organizer: Roy Barnes


Session Description: This series of sessions is organized around the themes of Corporate Networks, Politics and governance – that is, how do corporate networks shape the political behaviors within and between firms? we have organized nine papers (and one discussant) that broadly examine the politics around firm engagement with the state and civil sphere. Specifically, the papers in our sessions will address the theme of firm networks and politics, including the political causes and consequences of corporate networks; local, national, and global dynamics; political mobilization within and between firms; and changes in network structures.


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Title: Events, Situations and Small Networks

Organizer: Christian Stegbauer

Co-organizer: Iris Clemens


Session Description: Situations are a basic component of network analysis. Relationships arises from the coming together of people (face-to-face or also medially). So we can state that networks have their origin in situations. When relationships are measured, e.g. by network generators in classical network analysis, they can be seen as a surrogate of a sequence of common situations. On the downside, situations can also be considered as one of the modes in two-mode network analysis. Situations can be modeled as events; however, what happens at an event is usually of no interest at all in network analysis.

The more network research is interested in these contents, the more likely it is to open up new and extended fields of investigation. Network research can explain how different cultures emerge and are distributed. In situations, ties are negotiated. Although relationships do follow general rules, all relationships differ from each other. In situations and repeated situations (chains of situations) a separate culture is negotiated. Such "small cultures" differ in regard to e.g. their symbols, preferences and behavior.

Nevertheless, situations are always framed, and they follow general context rules in addition to joint negotiations. In situations with few participants, negotiations are easier to conduct because conventions are easier to modify. For this reason, the potential for social innovation is most likely to be found there. Another problem is that of transmission: When cultural changes begin in situations, how is it possible that they become common sense?

The aim of this session is to bring together ideas and empiric work on the mentioned topics in network research: events, situations, the emergence, transmission and diffusion of culture, small networks and the impact of framing for the structure of networks. Submissions in the described field are very welcome.


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Title: Gender and social networks

Organizer: Elisa Bellotti


Session Description: Social network research studies the mechanisms that drive formations of network structures as well as the outcomes of such structures on social behaviour. A well investigated area of research focuses on gender differences in network formations and outcomes in personal and professional networks. Researchers have looked, for example, at the different styles of socializations of boys and girls in early age, varieties of gendered network structures in different cultures, gender differences in peer networks and educational outcomes, gendered structural and cultural constrains of network strategies in organizational studies, different network positions and relational strategies between men and women at work, gender unbalance in academic networks and interlocking directorates.

This session wants to bring together interdisciplinary perspectives on gender similarities and differences in social networks which might be investigated with a variety of methods and modelling techniques. We welcome both highly quantitative modelling studies as well as qualitative research that looks at how discourses and narratives may impact the relational strategies embedded in network structures. We also welcome research that expand the very definition of gender to investigate peculiarities and differences of LGBT social networks.

Topics of the session might include, but are not limited to:
• Gender differences in structure and composition of personal networks
• Gender differences in tie formation in early life
• Gender dynamics in educational settings
• Gender and social support over the lifetime
• Gender, social capital and brokerage
• Gender differences in interlocking directorates, academic networks and organizational studies
• Gendered narratives in relational strategies
• Gendered perceptions of SNA


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Title: Health Care Provider Networks

Organizer: William McConnell


Session Description: Latent networks among physicians and other medical professionals exert a hidden influence on health care delivery. Physicians’ professional relationships have been linked to prescribing behaviors, adoption of innovative technologies and practices, and the costs and quality of care received by patients. Recent research has developed methods to derive health care provider networks from routinely collected electronic health records (EHRs), including patient transfers, health insurance claims, and a variety of other sources. In this growing research area, further research is necessary concerning the collection, conceptualization, and analysis of health care provider networks based on EHRs. Presentations in this session will address the use of EHRs to characterize professional networks within health care systems. Presenters will examine health care provider network formation, dynamics, and the mechanisms through which networks affect care delivery to patients.


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Title: Inference and Generalisability in Modelling Samples of Networks and Multi-Level Network Data

Organizer: Pavel Krivitsky

Co-organizer: Marijtje A. J. van Duijn


Session Description: Sociometric data that we collect are increasingly rich, and we increasingly analyse not single networks but ensembles of networks. Data using the same name generator on disjoint sets of actors in disjoint but similar settings have been collected about classrooms, schools, households, firms, legislative bodies, and other such replicable scenarios. Given such data, we often wish to pool the information from these multiple networks, and to draw conclusions generalisable to a broader population of networks in those settings. Methods to do so range from post-hoc meta-analyses to full hierarchical multi-level models.

These joint analyses raise a number of methodological questions, however. Some of them are questions that are asked in any situation that involves sampling from a population:
* What does it mean to draw a representative sample of networks?
* Can networks selected using different procedures be analysed together, and how?
* What "population" quantities are actually being estimated when metanalyses are performed or multilevel models fit?

Others are specific to social networks:
* Can the same model be fit to all of the networks in the ensemble?
* How can parameter estimates from networks that vary in size and/or composition be compared?

The goal of this session is to bring attention to these questions and to propose methods and diagnostics for joint estimation of models for multiple networks or for networks with multi-level structure. We welcome contributions on any of the above questions, related questions, or applications in which generalisability or inference to populations of networks play a role.


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Title: Innovations in social network based interventions

Organizer: Kate Eddens

Co-organizers: David Kennedy and Sebastian Stevens


Session Description: The field of network-based intervention has seen tremendous progress and development in recent years with innovations in methods, technology, analysis, and application. This session will offer a forum to present innovations in network data collection methods or tools, sampling approaches, incentives, intervention targets or topics, data analysis, network visualization, and use of technology for network-based interventions. Unique applications of networks within broader interventions are welcome, as are both personal network and sociometric network interventions.

While we are organisational and public health scientists, we are happy to receive abstracts describing innovative intervention approaches in ALL fields, and particularly welcome innovations in approaches that may have implications across diverse fields of study.


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Title: Leadership and Networks

Organizer: Alexandra Gerbasi

Co-organizers: Kristin Cullen-Lester and Cecile Emery


Session Description: The intersection of networks and leadership represents a burgeoning area of scientific inquiry. Leadership theory and research has traditionally been leader-centered, that is, its main emphasis has been on the individual characteristics and behaviors of formal leaders. More recently scholars have highlighted the critical role instrumental and affective networks play in individuals achieving positions of formal leadership and once there, their effectiveness. For instance, leaders ability to understand, modify and leverage workplace networks are critical for their own, their team’s and their organization’s success. Moreover, leadership is increasingly understood as a relational, patterned, dynamic, formal and informal influence process. Social network methods have been identified as useful for quantifying these relational patterns of leadership, for predicting their emergence, and for linking these leadership structures to individual, team, and organizational outcomes.


This proposed track invites papers that examine various aspects of networks and leadership.


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Title: Leveraging social networks to achieve healthy weight in young adults

Organizer: Tracie Barnett


Session Description: Obesity being a multi-factor disease, with social influence implicated at many levels, including as social contagion, social support, and social pressure. This session is designed to explore potential mechanisms linking social networks to obesity in youth transitioning to adulthood, a period of high risk for weight gain. As well, translating evidence from observational studies to clinical and community settings is challenging. Finally, research in this field is still ongoing and there is a need to understand perspectives from various actors (families, citizens, stakeholders) regarding what is needed to move the field forward will be presented.

Papers exploring the following topics will be welcome:

1- Social network based determinants of healthy weight and the underlying mechanisms.
2- Social network-based interventions to achieve healthy weight.
3- Perspectives on gaps and future directions: what are young people and experts telling us?


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Title: Network Approaches for Studying Social-Ecological Systems

Organizer: Michele L. Barnes

Co-organizers: Lorien Jasny, Jesse Sayles and Matt Hamilton


Session Description: Humans and ecosystems are fundamentally linked: humans rely on ecosystem goods and services to support human well-being, and human behavior affects ecosystems through actions such as resource use and environmental management. Solving environmental problems requires a deep understanding of these social-ecological linkages; yet, these relationships are difficult to study empirically because they are complex and occur across time, space, and multiple levels of both societal and ecological organization. Network approaches offer a promising way forward, offering theories, tools, and frameworks that can help to identify multilevel and dynamic relationships that are important for driving social-ecological system behavior. The purpose of this session is to bring together recent theoretical and empirical insights from research on social-ecological network approaches – defined here as a broad array of network approaches applied to, or informed by, studying coupled social-ecological systems -- to draw attention to critical gaps and highlight future potential. Drawing on a variety of examples from both terrestrial and marine systems, this session will demonstrate the theoretical and empirical utility of network approaches for understanding multi-level environmental governance systems, social-ecological system dynamics, and social and ecological outcomes. Presenters will also be asked to (1) reflect on current limitations in operationalizing and analyzing social-ecological networks and potential solutions for addressing these challenges in future research, and (2) briefly discuss key gaps in our theoretical understanding of social-ecological network dynamics and the future potential of social-ecological network approaches for environmental problem solving.


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Title: Network Change and Relationship Change in Ego Networks

Organizer: Alexandra Marin


Session Description: This session welcomes papers relating to change in ego networks, including change in the composition or structure of the network as well as change in the individual relationships that comprise the network. Examples of network change might include network turnover, size or compositional change, change in structural properties of the network, or changes in the supportiveness of the network. Examples of relationship change might include tie formation or dissolution; changes in embeddedness or node-level structural properties; changes in intensity, strength, or capacity; as well as changes in the types of interaction (support provided, resources exchanged, etc.), the kinds of relationships shared or other forms of relationship content.

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Title: Networked Innovation

Organizer: Dean Lusher

Co-organizers: James Coutinho and Julia Brennecke


Session Description: Innovation is no longer the property of stand-alone corporate or government R&D laboratories. Rather, it is the property of networks, where innovation occurs at the interstices of organisations, large and small, public and private, and the individuals nested within. These networks operate at intra- and inter-organisational, regional, national and international levels – this is networked innovation.

However, many questions about networks and innovation remain unanswered. The purpose of this session is to present the newest insights into the drivers, structural features, and consequences of innovation networks at different organizational levels.

Examples include:
* Interactions between intra- and inter-organizational networks for innovation
* Network dynamics and innovation diffusion
* University-industry collaboration
* Networks and commercialization
* Innovation in public sector firms
* Barriers to innovation

We welcome empirical contributions that tackle such issues, using various data sources and a variety of methodological approaches


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Title: Networks of Economic life: Relational processes within economic organizations and markets

Organizer: Elise Penalva-Icher

Co-organizers: Julien Brailly, Fabien Eloire, Guillaume Favre and Paola Tubaro


Session Description: This session aims to explore the relational processes that influence economic activities, shape economic organizations and markets in a wide range of contexts: from everyday economic life to markets’ regulation.

Economic interdependencies always imply social relationships at several scales (individual, organizational or inter-organizational). In this session we want to highlight how these relationships, relational structures and social processes sustain collective actions in economic activities: market regulation, embeddedness, socialization, social control, innovation, bounded solidarity, social comparison and stratification, etc.
We encourage a wide range of submissions studying various kinds of economic activities on: social construction of prices and markets; matching on markets, studies of culture, practices and norms in organizations and markets; cases of social processes at organizational or inter-organizational levels, etc. Presentations should contribute to the description and analysis of relational social processes occurring in economic life, whether based on ego networks, complete networks or relational chains.


In addition to contributed-paper slots, one part of this session is dedicated to a Panel: Network and Economic life: advances and challenges. This panel introduces:
Emmanuel Lazega: A neo-structural approach to market organization
Paola Tubaro: Digital platforms between organizations, markets and networks
Elise Penalva et Fabien Eloire: Does French economic sociology matter?
Julien Brailly et Guillaume Favre: Rise and falls of markets – a case study in TV programs trade fairs industry


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Title: Networks, Collective Action, and Social Movements  

Organizer: David Tindall

Co-organizer: Mario Diani


Session Description: The more network research is interested in these contents, the more likely it is to open up new and extended fields of investigation. Network research can explain how different cultures emerge and are distributed. In situations, ties are negotiated. Although relationships do follow general rules, all relationships differ from each other. In situations and repeated situations (chains of situations) a separate culture is negotiated. Such "small cultures" differ in regard to e.g. their symbols, preferences and behavior.


We welcome paper proposals (in the form of a title and abstract) for papers on theoretical, substantive, and methodological aspects of networks, collective action, and social movements, including substantive topics involving personal networks, organizational networks, virtual networks, and discourse networks.


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Title: New Theoretical, Methodological and Analytic Directions in Ego-Centric Research

Organizer: Bernice Pescosolido

Co-organizer: Mario Small


Session Description: Ego-centric research has provided some of the most basic insights into how social ties influence human behavior. These include the strength of weak ties, the national profile of connectedness, and novel perspectives on social issues as varied as obesity, job finding, mental health, and social support. At the same time, many issues in ego-centric analysis remain central concerns—among them how to properly measure ego-centric networks, how to productively combine qualitative and quantitative approaches, how to understand the relation between structure and context, and how to conceptualize dynamic processes at multiple levels. This session seeks papers with new perspectives or developments on these issues and other issues central to ego-centric analysis. We are particularly interested in papers that either 1) review the core strengths and challenges of ego-centric analysis from new perspectives; 2) offer new insights into theoretical issues relevant to social network research; 3) provide and/or compare new technological approaches to collecting social network data; or 4) develop new analytic approaches suitable for ego-centric data.


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Title: Organizational Networks

Organizers: Emmanuel Lazega and Spyros Angelopoulos

Co-organizer: Francesca Pallotti and Paola Zappa


Session Description: The networked nature of organizations creates a complex ecosystem where individuals, groups, units, and other organizations are entangled. Such entanglement shapes organizations in a dynamic way and affects their outcomes at multiple levels. This session aims to bring together studies on organizational networks addressing antecedents, dynamics, and implications of the cross-level processes leading to the emergence of relations and outcomes at various levels.


Submissions to this session can refer, but are not limited, to the following areas of research:
• Micro-foundations of organizational networks: How individual characteristics (i.e., motivation, personality) and cognitions affect the emergence of network structures and how, in turn, these network structures affect individuals;
• Dynamics of organizational networks: How network structures at various levels coevolve and affect one another, as well as organizational processes and outcomes;
• Issues of time-dependence in organizational networks: How organizational networks at various levels change at different paces over time;
• Overlap and multilevel interplay between social and other kinds of networks within and across organizational settings:How organizational networks are affected by the affiliation of individuals, or organizations to events or contexts.

We welcome both theoretical as well as empirical contributions that address the various aspects and implications of organizational networks research.


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Title: Rethinking Classic Concepts, Classic Data Sets, and Classic Findings in Ego-Network Analysis

Organizer: Bernice Pescosolido

Co-organizer: Mario Small


Session Description: Ego-centric or personal network research has produced major contributions to how social networks shape attitudes and behaviors, and how, in turn, networks themselves are shaped by other social forces. Many of the most central contributions, including what we know about weak and strong ties, about differentiation in social support, about the core discussion network, and about the social organization of support, emerged long before the internet transformed social relations and the possibilities afforded by so-called big data transformed social science. This juncture presents an opportunity to take a serious look both forward and backward—to reexamine what we know or think we know and to consider how to advance these lines of thinking. This session seeks papers that focus on an important issue in the analysis of personal networks and, based on a rethinking of the modern “classics,” propose new lines of inquiry into human behavior across contexts. The issues engaged with can range from rethinking classic concepts like centrality, small worlds, homophily, etc., to presenting new findings from some of the classic data sets (or their new follow-ups like the Eat Yorkers Study or the innovative project surrounding the Northern California restudy), or to critique the foundations on which those classics were based.


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Title: Role of networks in infectious disease risk & prevention

Organizer: Danielle German

Co-organizers: Karla Wagner, Mary Mackesy-Amity and Basmattee Boodram


Session Description: Social network research continues to provide critical and unique insights for public health and health promotion. Social networks influence spread of infectious disease and simultaneously shape numerous social pathways to health outcomes, including preventive behaviors. This makes understanding the connections between and among persons and the multifaceted ways in which relationships facilitate or hinder health a key focus for disease prevention and other public health strategies. These pathways may include direct exposure through sexual contact or other behaviors that can facilitate disease transmission as well as exposure to social factors such as norms, resources, and stigma that indirectly affect protective or risk behaviors. Structural network aspects also shape the context of behavior and potential transmission pathways. In this session, presenters will describe innovative uses of social network research to understand multifaceted pathways to health outcomes and how such network information can be used to design interventions for improving public health.


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Title: Social capital - state of the art and new directions

Organizer: Beate Volker


Session Description: Social capital theory is flourishing but still, there are important questions and unsolved puzzles. For example, we do not understand how social capital is created as a byproduct of other types of interaction or we do not exactly know how it is maintained or what is its discount rate. In addition, still, problems of selection and endogeneity are unsolved.

The session invites papers discussing theoretical issues of social capital combined with empirical analyses on ego-centered networks.


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Title: Social Network Analysis in Social Work and in Third Sector Interventions

Organizer: Andrea Salvini


Session Description: This session welcomes papers concerning the adoption of the network perspective in professional social work and, more generally, in the social intervention carried out by public institutions and third sector organizations. The goal is to collect both theoretical and empirical contributions that highlight the benefits, but also the possible limits, of the application of SNA methods and techniques in the analysis of social exclusion phenomena and in the construction of effective social interventions to reduce social unease of individuals, families and social groups in specific territorial areas. Particular emphasis will be given to the experiences that describe the use of SNA in the activity of social workers but also of professionals working in the social and welfare field within third sector organizations.

The adoption of the SNA within the professional activity of social workers is still rather limited, and more generally, it is not still fully recognized as an empirical and theoretical perspective able to support the action of social workers, that is still excessively oriented towards case-work. The importance of adopting SNA in professional social work is rooted in the conviction that the causes that generate phenomena of social exclusion have a relational and structural nature that can be more effectively analyzed and dealt through the adoption of the SNA perspective in professional social work. Moreover, SNA can also be an effective perspective in the analysis of inter-organizational social intervention involving both public institutions and third sector organizations.


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Title: Social Networks Analysis: Emerging Perspectives on Gender, Diversity, Work and Health

Organizer: Mélanie Lefrançois

Co-organizer: Johanne Saint-Charles


Session Description: Social network analysis (SNA) is emerging as an approach to better understand interactions between work, health and safety (Hurtado et al. 2017). Empirical studies, relying mainly on contagion or social capital theories, have mobilized SNA to understand the structuring of sexual harassment (Snyder et al., 2012); and the adoption of safety behaviors (Hurtado et al., 2018). The approach is also recognized for its potential for evaluating OSH interventions with regard to ergonomists' activity (Coutarel & Petit, 2009); the effectiveness of a vaccination campaign for healthcare workers (Llupià et al., 2016); and the development of an OHS culture (Fong et al., 2017). In a prospective manner, some studies or theoretical papers in the OHS field discuss SNA’s potential to analyze, at a collective level, safety climates, safety behaviors and risks perceptions (Koh & Rowlinson, 2014; Murphy, 2008; Pate and Dai, 2014; Stave, 2005).

As well, gender, age, race and social class also play an important role in the emergence of occupational illnesses and injuries (WHO, 2007) and SNA has already proven its relevance for shedding light on such dynamics in organizational context (Ibarra, 1993; Lefrançois, Saint-Charles & Riel, 2017; Lin, 1999,2001). Hence the potential contribution of SNA for OHS issues is multi-faceted. Presentations in this session will discuss how SNA can support the construction of sustainable and equitable knowledge in the OHS field: 1) by rendering visible the structuring effect of gender, power and other relational dynamics related to occupational health issues; 2) by outlining how these relational dynamics can impact interventions aimed at reducing risks, and preventing work accidents and occupational diseases.


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Title: Social Networks and Climate Change

Organizer: David Tindall

Co-organizers: Mark Stoddart and John McLevey


Session Description: This session will focus on networks and climate change, and will consider papers on theoretical, methodological, and substantive topics related to this theme, including organizational networks, virtual networks, discourse networks, and personal networks.


Topics may include (but are not limited to) social movements, values and attitudes, community resilience, policy networks, climate change denial networks, political economic networks.


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Title: Social Networks and Sexual Risk

Organizer: Lindsay Young

Co-organizer: John Schneider


Session Description: The topic of social networks has become the focus of considerable interest among researchers studying sexual risk behavior among a variety of populations including but not limited to men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWID), sex workers, and adolescents. The network perspective has offered a way to move beyond individual-level analysis to consider the patterns of relationships in which individuals are embedded to better understand flows of influence, social support, and infectious disease transmission.


In this session, we seek papers that explore the connection between sociometric or egocentric network structure and composition and sexual risks in at-risk populations. We aim to feature a wide range of network analytic techniques ranging from descriptive and exploratory methods to stochastic approaches like exponential random graph models (ERGMs) and actor-based models. We encourage the presentation of both cross-sectional and longitudinal data that is either single- or multi-level.


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Title: Social Relationships Within and Between Ethnic Groups

Organizer: Bonnie Erickson


Session Description: In multi-ethnic societies such as Canada, social relationships within and between ethnic groups play important roles in the social, political, and labour market fortunes of groups and their members. This session can include (1) research on how, and to what extent, members of different groups form strong and/or weak ties in their own groups and to outside groups, and, (2) research on how ties to one’s own group and/or to other groups affect key outcomes such as cultural assimilation, civic engagement, or success in labour markets.


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Title: Social support and health

Organizer: Guy Harling


Session Description: One reason proposed for health being both a product of, and a determinant of, social network position and structure is the support and advice that flows through the network. This support is connected to, but distinct from, network position/structure itself. We invite abstracts that consider any aspect of social support and health on networks, focusing on what flows through ties as causal mechanisms for network or health status change in individuals. This might include how support is generated within networks, or how it is patterned across networks (e.g. by age, gender, social status). It might also include longitudinal analysis of how support or advice predicts health knowledge, behavior or outcome, or how health predicts receipt of support. Health topics might include infectious or non-communicable conditions. This session will focus primarily on quantitative analysis, potentially buttressed by qualitative material (i.e. mixed methods). We would particularly welcome research from low- and middle-income settings.


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Title: Special Conference-Within-a-Conference on Negative Ties and Signed Graphs

Organizer: Giuseppe Labianca

Co-organizers: Filip Agneessens, Samin Aref, Nicholas Harrigan and Zachary Neal


Session Description:

Note: This session is open to anyone interested in presenting research on negative and signed ties. There is no requirement to have submitted or been accepted for the Special Issue.


The journal Social Networks will be publishing a special issue on negative ties and signed graphs that focuses on the co-existence of positive and negative ties in networks and the need to study them together in order to better understand network content and dynamics. To celebrate the special issue and to point the way forward to new research in this burgeoning area, we invite anyone with an interest in the topic to submit their work to a special mini-conference within the Sunbelt social network conference.

In addition, we are asking authors of manuscripts that are either already accepted for publication in the special issue or that went through the revision process to present their work at the conference. We hope to have a nice mix of presentations for work that has already undergone a significant journal review process and more early-stage projects.

In addition to presentations, the conference will feature panels and discussions about the future of signed graph research, as well as helpful tips on improving this work moving forward.


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Title: Studying Canada and Québec through Social Network Analysis

Organizer: Xavier Bériault

Co-organizer: Laurent Alarie


Session Description: Canadian scholars have been making important contributions to the field of social network analysis (SNA) for the past few decades (Tindall and Wellman 2001). In fact, network-based projects represented the fourth largest share of grants dispensed by the Social Science Research Council of Canada and received the largest per-project grants (Marin and Wellman 2015). The aim of this session is to contribute to this growing field of research by bringing together scholars applying SNA to study Canada and Québec, and by enhancing interdisciplinary and international exchange.

The call for proposals invites researchers from sociology, anthropology, education, economy, criminology, health sciences, computer sciences, communication, political science, and history who apply the tools of SNA to the study of Canadian and Québécois societies to present their research. Topics may include, but are not limited to, network analysis on social, political, and religious groups, movements, cliques, organizations; communication; computer supported social networks; economic exchange; social capital and social support; intellectual or kinship networks; social and political conflicts; attitude formation; collective action; personal networks; and inter-organizational relations.


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Title: The French Connection: an overview of current French-speaking studies on social networks

Organizer: Pierre Mongeau

Co-organizer: Johanne Saint-Charles


Session Description: Rich traditions of researching and teaching social network analysis exist in many French-speaking countries and their scholars have been contributing to the field for decades. The session proposed here will be an occasion for these scholars to share their work and meet colleagues in the francophone metropolis of the Americas.

This session aims to present an overview of social network studies conducted in French-speaking countries. The session is thus intersectional and brings together various topics illustrating the current work of French-speaking scholars. In order to reach out and to be inviting to non-French-speaking delegates, the titles of the presentations and all abstracts will be bilingual (English and French). Although papers will be presented in French, the slides accompanying then will be written in English so that non-Francophone colleagues interested in a topic can at least follow and understand the work presented.


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Title: Urban networks

Organizer: Zachary Neal


Session Description: The internal dynamics of cities can often be viewed as emerging from the interaction of multiple types of networks, including the social networks of people and the infrastructure networks of roads and utilities. At the same time, the dynamics of urban systems can also often be understood emerging from networks, including the economic and transportation networks that link cities into a world city network. Accordingly, research on cities and networks (a.k.a. urban networks) now spans multiple scales, topics, and disciplines.


This session will explore the range of innovative urban network research, including:
- At any scale: within-city, between-city, global, local
- In any domain: social, infrastructure, economic, etc
- Theoretical, methodological, and empirical work


All papers in the session(s) will have the opportunity to be featured on http://www.urbannetworks.org.


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Title: Using network research for impact evaluation

Organizer: Cathleen M. Stuetzer

Co-organizer: Stephanie Gaaw


Session Description: This session is dedicated to strengthening links between network research and impact evaluation (including direct and indirect impacts, short and long term effects, etc.). The work at the intersection of these fields lags behind the expectations. Furthermore, the theoretical, empirical, and methodological approaches fail to consider these comprehensively.


Closing this gap should contribute to open up a new perspective on the field of impact evaluation. Moving toward to this new perspective promotes the development of new research approaches and methodological frameworks, especially for social impact evaluation. This session will offer a forum to present contributions on the field of impact evaluation by focussing on network data collection, methods or tools, visualization and use of technology for network-based evaluation. Innovative approaches of network research within a broader area of evaluation are welcome. We invite abstract submissions that contribute to the consolidation of network research in the field of (social) impact evaluation.


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Title: Words and Networks

Organizer: Jana Diesner

Co-organizers: Peter Gloor and Andrea Fronzetti Colladon


Session Description: This session is dedicated to innovative research at the nexus of text analysis (including discourse analysis, content analysis, text mining, and natural language processing) and network analysis (including graph theory and social network analysis). The study of networks of words, analysis of large text corpora, and extraction of socio-semantic networks from natural language text data are also topics of interest.
Research on “Words and Networks” has led to eminent work, e.g., on language change, recommender systems, collaborative work, semantic computing, and the diffusion and adoption of (mis)information offline and online.


The papers presented in this session should discuss new methods or applications. For example, several studies already proved the advantage of combining social network and semantic analysis for business intelligence. Actions meant to support successful interactions with clients, or to improve employees’ communication, come from a better understanding of the impact that language has within and across organizations. In addition, text mining and the study of networks of words help to identify digital tribes of social agents, resulting in strategies for customized communication or connecting groups. Virtual mirroring of digital communication dynamics makes social actors aware of their behavior, beliefs and emotions; improves collaboration; and nudges change and work-commitment within organizations and other complex systems.


An additional aspect of bringing text analytics to the field of network analysis is the construction of network data based on natural language text data, a process also known as relation extraction, for example using recent machine learning and artificial intelligence based solutions. Methodological innovations related to extracting information from communication data from social networks is also welcome.
We invite abstract submissions that contribute to the consolidation of text analysis and network analysis. We are interested in basic and applied studies, and in theoretical, empirical, and methodological work.


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