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Header image Social Networks in a Sustainable Society

Social Networks in a Sustainable Society

Social networks – our webs of personal relationships in friendships, communication, online interactions, trust or enmity – play a pivotal role in promoting a sustainable society.

Networks can be key to holding together communities, organisations and political entities, but they can also be a major source of conflict, ineffectiveness, and decay.

This unique program teaches and applies state-of-the-art theories and methods to enable you to better understand how the content, structure and dynamics of social networks affect society across a wide range of domains. The areas addressed reflect the staff's main areas of research expertise: collaboration in the care sector, joint production in firms, integration of ethnic minorities, transition to renewable sources of energy, bullying among adolescents, and healthy ageing. You will learn to apply theories relating to institutions and human behaviour to social networks, you will use cutting-edge tools and methods to gather and analyze quantitative and qualitative network data, and you will then apply this knowledge so you can analyse and improve policies and interventions.

Social networks – our webs of personal relationships in friendships, communication, online interactions, trust or enmity – play a pivotal role in promoting a sustainable society.

Networks can be key to holding together communities, organisations and political entities, but they can also be a major source of conflict, ineffectiveness, and decay.

This unique program teaches and applies state-of-the-art theories and methods to enable you to better understand how the content, structure and dynamics of social networks affect society across a wide range of domains. The areas addressed reflect the staff's main areas of research expertise: collaboration in the care sector, joint production in firms, integration of ethnic minorities, transition to renewable sources of energy, bullying among adolescents, and healthy ageing. You will learn to apply theories relating to institutions and human behaviour to social networks, you will use cutting-edge tools and methods to gather and analyze quantitative and qualitative network data, and you will then apply this knowledge so you can analyse and improve policies and interventions.

More about this programme
  • Testimonial of Merlijn de Lange

    It is about solving social problems through the analysis of social networks.

    I came across this programme by accident. I went to an information session for prospective Master's students and was considering either a Research Master's or the Dutch-taught Crime and Security Master's programme. The presentation for Social Networks in a Sustainable Society was scheduled between those two, so I stayed and listened while I was waiting. It sounded so much more interesting than what I originally had in mind that I chose it.

    I'm very satisfied with my choice. I really enjoy the programme. The lecturers developed it from scratch, and it shows: they are incredibly enthusiastic. As we are a small group of students, there is plenty of opportunity for personal contact with our lecturers.

    We do less statistics than I had expected – our main focus is the theory of social network analysis. But that's very interesting as well. It's about solving societal problems by analysing social networks.

    For instance, one of the cases we studied was about HIV prevention in the homeless. A prevention method did exist, but it was expensive and didn't work very well. By examining the structure of homeless people's social networks and how these could be used to prevent HIV infection, the researchers were able to develop a much cheaper and more effective method.

    I'm currently doing a placement at the Court of Audit, which I'm thrilled with, because it gives me the opportunity to do research that really means something. The project I'm working on is about education for children with special needs. I'm investigating how schools work together with various organizations in order to provide this.

    This Master's programme could land you anywhere. My classmates have done placements at the Institute for Social Research in Friesland, with the police and at the Northern Netherlands Centre for Drug Rehabilitation. Social network analysis is a relatively new discipline and the demand for specialists in the field is high. That means this programme offers good career prospects. But most importantly, it's a really interesting programme to follow.

    Contact: m.m.de.lange@student.rug.nl

    Close
    – Merlijn de Lange
Facts & Figures
Degree
MSc in Sociology
Croho code
66601
Course type
Master
Language of instruction
English (100%)
Duration
12 months (60 ECTS)
Start
SeptemberSeptember
Programme form
full-time
Faculty
Behavioural and Social Sciences