Social Networks

Mission Statement

Rutgers Sociology features a small group of researchers devoted to the study of Social Networks, including early contributors to the social networks literature, nationally recognized scholars working at the intersection of social networks and culture, and several students working on networks-inspired projects. Our group is connected to a growing cluster of networks-oriented scholars housed in different departments and schools around the university. Among our main goals is to increase the visibility and accessibility of network methods and network ways of thinking not only in sociology, but also in neighboring social science disciplines and the humanities. More generally, we seek to support relational approaches to the study of social life.

We invite students and faculty alike interested in social networks to participate in NetSCI Lab (, a workshop-like group drawing participants from both Sociology and the School of Communication and Information, and hopefully other units from around the University as we expand. NetSCI Lab holds meetings approximately once a month to discuss a networks reading or work in progress by one or more Lab participants. It also sponsors two or three lectures a year delivered by nationally or internationally known networks scholars. Possible themes to be discussed at the workshop sessions include: conceiving of social space as a multiple-network ecology; the study of formal and informal network structures; social networks in digital media; talk and agency in networks; organizational networks; the dynamics of emergent organization; the consequences of network embeddedness for individual-level outcomes; the relationship between field theory and network theory; network dynamics and institutional change; modeling social network processes; and ways of tackling the relationship between micro and macro.


Departmental Chair
Julie Phillips

Graduate Director
Steven Brechin