Social Network Analysis Methods in Educational Policy Research

  • Kara S. FinniganEmail author
  • Daniela E. Luengo-Aravena
  • Kim M. Garrison


This chapter describes the theories and analytic methods associated with Social Network Analysis (SNA), and considers the application of SNA in educational policy research. SNA is based upon an understanding that individuals in a social system are interdependent and that these underlying relationships shape opportunities and outcomes in ways that require distinct analytic techniques. In education, SNA remains an extremely powerful yet underutilized methodological approach. The chapter begins by providing detailed information regarding collecting and analyzing social network data. The chapter next discusses common theoretical lenses used in SNA studies; highlights SNA research in education and in education policy, especially around policy advocacy and policy implementation; and provides guidance to educational policy scholars as they consider ways to use SNA in their future work.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kara S. Finnigan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniela E. Luengo-Aravena
    • 1
  • Kim M. Garrison
    • 1
  1. 1.Warner School of Education and Human DevelopmentUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA

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