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In addition to Laumann and Wellman, I would add Claude Fischer's work to the mix.  Analyses of GSS items were originally conducted by Marsden and Burt, I believe.  Peter Marsden has a review piece on network measurement in 2005, I think.  There are a bunch of papers looking at name generators as a method.
Best,
Tony

From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Alexander Tsai
Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 3:30 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SOCNET] Question on close personal friends

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Hi Ian,

One of the first studies that used affective and/or role relation criteria as name generators was the 1966 Detroit Area Study (Laumann 1973). He asked respondents to name their three "best friends". Wellman's 1979 study asked about "persons outside your home that you feel closest to".

Laumann EO. Bonds of pluralism: the form and substance of urban social networks. New York: Wiley, 1973.
Wellman B. The community question: the intimate networks of East Yorkers. AJS 1979;84:1201-31.

Best
Alex

On Tue, May 14, 2013 at 11:22 AM, Jeanine Finn <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
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I'm not quite sure if this will be useful, but the General Social Survey in the U.S. (currently out of the U of Chicago and funded by the NSF) has used questions of this type for decades. http://www3.norc.org/GSS+Website/

The Framingham Heart Study is also considered foundational in the use of name generators for personal social network research. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2600606/


<---------------------------------------------------->
Jeanine Finn
Doctoral Candidate/Assistant Instructor
School of Information
University of Texas at Austin
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On May 14, 2013, at 5:40 AM, Ian McCulloh <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:


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Hi all,

I need to justify the use of a name generator as a valid social science instrument.  I understand this is an odd request.  Can you provide me a few foundational papers describing the technique and maybe a couple applied papers?  I am not familiar with the origins of the method.  I'm hoping to find the paper where name generators were first proposed and a paper or two in a highly regarded journal.  Thanks in advance for assistance.

Ian McCulloh, PhD

On May 14, 2013, at 5:54 AM, Martin Everett <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
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Hi all
I was recently asked the following and said I was not sure but would circulate. Please reply to Alberto Zanni [[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>]
Thanks for you help

Our name generator (part of an online survey with 2,000+ respondents) produced an average of about 7 close contacts per respondents (including people living with the respondents) and we wonder whether there are any recent (or fairly recent) studies reporting the average size of personal networks in the UK to compare with. It appears that similar studies in other European have produced much larger personal networks and for this reason our survey has been criticised for not giving a precise account of personal networks in the UK.

Our name generator question was: Please now consider the people (above 14 years of age) who are part of your social circle. In order to identify them, please consider those people who you have regular contact with, and/or who are the most important to you, and/or who you would want help to discuss personal matters, and/or who you can trust, and/or those you really enjoy socialising with.

Martin Everett
Mitchell Centre for Social Network Analysis
School of Social Sciences
Arthur Lewis Building
University of Manchester
Bridgeford Street
Manchester M13 9PL

tel +44 (0)161 275 2515<tel:%2B44%20%280%29161%20275%202515>

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