10th International summer course “Theory, Methods and Applications of Personal Networks” in Barcelona

The ICONIC crew attended, from 1st to 5th of July, the 10th edition of the Summer Course on Personal Networks, held by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. The event was a great occasion for students, academics and even non-academic people to find out about how and why social networks, especially personal networks, influence our everyday life in society. From the spreading of diseases, smoking behaviour, or social support to migration issues and coauthorship networks, the event covered all types of topics and analysis employing different (mixed) methodologies.

During summer course, the team members were involved in different workshops, irrespective of their qualitative or quantitative specific. Now we are more than apprentices in data collection and visualization with Vennmaker (a course taught by Alejandro García Macías with the support of Ignacio Fradejas-García and Paula Escribano, Universidad Autonoma De Aguascalientes, Mexic & Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain) and ready to employ Network Canvas demo (Bernie Hogan, Joshua R. Melville, University of Oxford, United Kingdom) during interviews. Another demo presented was Egoweb, a project developed by UAA & UAB. One central focus of the school was on how to do personal network analysis with R language and environment, from the basics to multilevel modelling (with Tom Smith and Raffaele Vacca, University of Florida, USA). Gabriel Hâncean, ICONIC principal investigator, introduced students to hive-plots with HiveR, that is, a new rational and easy way for visualizing network data. The last hands-on workshops were held by Jürgen Lerner (University of Konstanz, Germany), on comparing personal networks with clustered graphs (and by using EgoNet – visone), and on modelling personal networks with ERGMs.

Besides the workshops, we participated to a series of lectures about the fundamentals of personal networks analysis, research questions, name generators, and qualitative dimensions of personal networks. The sessions were held by Miranda J. Lubbers and José Luis Molina (UAB), professors at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology and organizers of the Summer School.

The whole team contributed to the introductory workshop to hive-plots with HiveR, assisting the other participants with different issues encountered during R exercises. Also, the team members attended the ORBITS research project meeting 2019 (more details here). The meeting consisted in a discussion about the status of the fieldwork in Romania, Bistrița-Năsăud County, and on how to grow the Orbits project for the next years.