Columbia’s CCP: A Case Study
Theory and Application
Network analysis has emerged as a popular analytic strategy for under- standing social relations, and is an appropriate tool for shedding light on CCP partnerships. Network analysis has a long history of use in the fields of anthropology, sociology, and psychology (see Scott, 1991), and has now been used in other fields such as political science and education. The network ap- proach assumes that (1) individuals are not isolated but rather function as part of a social system whereby their behavior is influenced by others, and (2) these social systems are structured and organized, and therefore, can be analyzed as predictable patterns of interaction. Thus, network analysis al- lows us to examine the structural properties of social relations by examining the interactions between individuals actors in a social network. Knoke & Kuklinski, (1982, p. 10) describe the two essential qualities of network analy- sis as “its capacity to illuminate entire social structures and to comprehend particular elements within the structure.”
Recent advances in the theory and techniques of network analysis have been substantial (see Wasserman & Galaskiewicz, 1993; 1994 for reviews). De- spite these advances, the utilization of these techniques and models for the study of community action and public elites has been limited (see Knoke, 1993).
The Comprehensive Communities Program was designed primarily as a vehi- cle to facilitate the development of citywide networks and partnerships— collective entities that were hypothesized to improve the odds of preventing urban violence and disorder above and beyond what could be expected from individuals and agencies working independently. In the context of the pres- ent study, network analysis is an important strategy for identifying patterns of interaction among those who play key roles in each CCP coalition. These wave one network data provide an empirical look at the relationships and so- cial networks that were taking shape early on in five CCP cities.
Specifying the boundaries of the network in advance of data collection is an
important part proaches, limits Essentially, we
of network analysis. on the population or adopted a “realist”
Unlike typical random sampling ap- the sample must be carefully imposed. (Laumann et al., 1982) approach to
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