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Dear Socnetter, dear qualitative network researchers,

please find attached a Call for papers to a Special Issue "Qualitative
Approaches in Social Network Analysis" in  *Forum Qualitative
Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research*
<> (*FQS*).

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in contact with
us. Stefan and I are around in Utrecht (definitely during the sessions on
"Varieties of qualitative perspectives in social network analysis" on
Friday, 16:00 and Sunday, 9:00).

Find the full call here and below:

Inga, Luisa, Stefan and Andreas

*"Qualitative Approaches in Social Network Analysis"*

Special Issue in *Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative
Social Research* <> (

Stefan Bernhard (IAB Nuremberg), Andreas Herz (University of Hildesheim),
Luisa Peters (University of Hildesheim), Inga Truschkat (University of
Hildesheim) (Guest Editors)
*1. Focus of the Special Issue*

Social network analysis (SNA) is one of the most promising and flourishing
strands of research in social sciences. A variety of methodological
traditions and theories have enabled this research to evolve, including
conversation analysis, ethnography, small story research, field theory, *social
world theory* and interactionism. Researchers apply a diversity of
qualitative methods in empirical studies, which rely on different kinds of
qualitative data collection including interviews, observations, and
visualizations. While SNA is a research program that has advanced by
applying and revisiting (quantitative) methods, in recent years the
reflection, explicit elaboration and discussion of qualitative approaches
has gained traction in social research literature.

In this *FQS* Special Issue on "Qualitative Approaches in Social Network
Analysis", we engage with the rapidly growing field of expertise on
qualitative methods in SNA. In particular, we are interested in stimulating
and progressing the discussion in this field between "classical”
SNA-approaches on the one hand and qualitative approaches (methodology,
heuristic, method, etc.) on the other. Furthermore, we would like to
systematize current approaches in the field of qualitative methods in SNA
and offer different solutions for methodical and methodological challenges.

We invite contributions from all kinds of research traditions, theories and
disciplines, which may address but are not restricted to one or more of the
following topics:

*1.1 Data collection*

To date, the discussion on ​​qualitative methods in SNA primarily concerns
questions regarding the collection of qualitative network data and
particularly how network maps are incorporated with qualitative interviews.
The use of other qualitative data collection methods, such as observation,
group discussion, document analysis, etc. has attracted by contrast, much
less attention. Moreover, there is little systematic discussion on how the
epistemological implications of qualitative methods can be combined with
SNA research interests or on how qualitative methods are conceptually
compatible with SNA research questions. We invite contributions from
researchers in which questions of qualitative network data collection are
addressed from a methodological perspective.

*1.2 Data analysis*

The question of data analysis is far less prominent in methodical and
methodological debates than that of data collection. While current research
practice appears to utilise general procedures such as content analysis or
grounded theory, little is known about how qualitative network data
analysis procedures. At the same time, analytic solutions and methodical
innovations often develop "along the way" and within empirical research
studies. In this Special Issue we would like to give room to the practice
of working with qualitative network data. We particularly invite
contributions which offer insight into the compatibility of qualitative
methods and SNA-style research and how epistemological and methodological
issues are resolved. Additionally, we invite contributions in which
applications of established methods to qualitative SNA, or that detail
methodical innovations are presented.

*1.3 Qualitative methodology in social network analysis*

Qualitative research ideally integrates epistemology, theory, methodology
and analysis in a consistent manner (i.e. methodological holism). Against
this backdrop, qualitative network analysis faces the question of its
theoretical foundation. Theoretical premises permeate the research process
from the research question to research design to techniques and methods of
analysis. Thus, using or combining of network analytical perspectives with
methods of collecting and analysing qualitative network data not only
raises issues of research practice but also has theoretical implications.
To date, the theoretical foundation of qualitative network research has
been discussed in terms of relational approaches, qualitative approaches,
or combining/integrating theoretical references. In the light of that, we
call for contributions in which the implications of methodological holism
for qualitative SNA are explored and resolved.

*1.4 Reflexivity and research practice*

Finally, SNA based on a qualitative perspective provokes reflexivity in
different ways. One issue is to address the discussion on standards of
qualitative research. What lessons can be drawn from the debate on quality
criteria for qualitative social network analysis? Again, we think that this
is important but largely undiscovered terrain of qualitative methods in
SNA. Furthermore, qualitative network research addressing questions of
reflexivity, also needs to reconcile issues of ethical standards, the role
and function of participatory research elements, teaching, data security
and the possibilities of the secondary use of data.
*2. Timeline*

-          September 30, 2018: Deadline for abstracts

-          October 15, 2018: Decisions with invitation for handing in a

-          May 31, 2019: Deadline for article submission (first draft)

-          June 2019: Review Workshop (peer review among authors)

-          September 1, 2019: Deadline article submission (*second draft*)

-          September, October 2019: minor revisions (if necessary)

-          Until November 1, 2019: Delivery of all articles (*final draft*)
to the guest editors

-          March 2020: Publication of the Special Issue
*3. Submission of Abstracts *

Articles may be written in German or English language. Abstracts and
contributions, should follow the *FQS* guidelines for authors (
Each submitted abstract should be between 400 and 500 words in length. The
abstract needs to present a rationale for the proposed article that is
grounded in background literature before outlining the main discussion
points. In addition, authors need to submit a short biography of no more
than 200 words, corresponding author contact details including their e-mail

Inquiries and proposals should be sent to all guest editors via e-mail
until *September 30, 2018*:

Stefan Bernhard (IAB Nuremberg): [log in to unmask]

Andreas Herz (University of Hildesheim): [log in to unmask]

Luisa Peters (University of Hildesheim): [log in to unmask]

Inga Truschkat (University of Hildesheim): [log in to unmask]

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