Communication and Social Networks (Spring 2020)/Extended Family Assignment

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This homework takes the general idea of family networks from Homework #1 and makes it more formal and exact.

Consider the network representing all family ties within a network walk of two steps from you (that is, at a network distance of two from you). The only two kinds of family ties you should include and represent in your network are 1) the tie between a parent and a child and 2) the tie between two spouses or romantic partners. Be sure to include those parents and children who may no longer be living. Include only current spouses or romantic partners. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Guess how many people will be contained in your network. Include your guess as part of your homework assignment.
  2. Create an edge list of all nodes and ties through a method called snowball sampling: Start with yourself and name all the people who are your parent, child, spouse or partner. These are the nodes one step removed from you. Then list all the people who are the parent, child, spouse or partner of your parents, children, and spouse/partner. Some of these people will already have been listed in the prior step; the rest of them are nodes two steps removed from you. Be sure to give each person some kind of a name: it may be a first name only, a pseudonym, or descriptions like “Agatha’s Father” if you don’t know the person’s name.
  3. Convert this edge list into a matrix. Be sure to label each row and column.
  4. Convert this edge list into a sociogram (also called a network graph). Draw the sociogram in Google Drawings.
  5. How many people are actually included? Compare that number to your guess.