Social Networks and Social Capital: New Directions for a Household Panel Survey

Laura M. Tach, Cornell University
Benjamin Cornwell, Cornell University

This paper highlights the importance of the social networks perspective in social science research and describes the main approaches to measuring social networks and closely related phenomena—including social capital and kin networks—in existing household panel surveys. It then identifies cutting-edge techniques for collecting new data on social networks within the context of a household panel survey design. We focus in particular on possible extensions to traditional egocentric network data collection, the proper enumeration of kin networks and social support in unstable and complex families, measurement of communication via information and communication technology, and identification of the social network properties of social media participation.

Presented in Session 161: Does Demography Need a New National Household Panel?