Macro, meso, micro: broadening the ‘social’ of social network analysis with a mixed methods approach

Mireia Bolíbar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of the paper is to show the benefits of the use of mixed methods methodology in order to account for the complex and multidimensional nature of social networks. Through an empirical research on the gendered evolution of migrants’ personal networks over their settlement process, the article illustrates the depth and explanatory strength of a methodology that combines the algebraic and formalised reasoning of the analysis of networks’ matrixes with a comprehensive approach of the actors’ narratives. The paper identifies theoretical foundations and methodological approaches that enable to analyse social networks with deep sociological lens. It advocates for a “strong” integration in combining quantitative and qualitative methodologies that helps to abandon the realist premises of the classical tradition of SNA in order to integrate the interpretative tradition of social sciences. This approach enables taking into account the content of relationships and the situated interactions that create and maintain the networks; and to comprise the social and institutional context where they are produced in order to overcome implicit rational thinking about the behaviour of the individuals embedded in relational structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2217-2236
Number of pages20
JournalQuality and Quantity
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016


  • Agency
  • Micro–macro link
  • Mixed methods
  • Qualitative networks
  • Social interaction
  • Social networks


Dive into the research topics of 'Macro, meso, micro: broadening the ‘social’ of social network analysis with a mixed methods approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this