My main interest is in mathematical or analytical sociology and I am principally a methodologist focusing in the area of social networks. In particular I am interested in new non-statistical and descriptive methods such as centrality, positional analysis techniques and cohesive subgroups for networks and in the analysis of non-standard network data such as two-mode networks and networks containing negative ties.
I am involved in a number of on-going projects with colleagues both in Manchester and from other universities as follows.
Covert social networks. I am PI on a Leverhulme project which focuses on finding some concrete evidence for claims about covert social networks. One key claim is that these networks are organized to facilitate their aims but this is often overridden by their need to keep their connections hidden. This has consequences for the resulting structures which we aim to test empirically.
Networks of people with severe mental illness. This is an ESRC case award together with the charity McPin. We are collecting data on the ego networks of a number of people with severe mental illness at two locations in the UK. Our aim is to see if we can identify structural properties that will help us identify when an early intervention would be beneficial.
Networks with negative ties. Techniques for analyzing networks that contain both positive and negative ties. This is work I am undertaking with Steve Borgatti from the University of Kentucky.
Ego networks. A joint book with other members of the Mitchell Centre on methods for collecting and analyzing ego network data.
Networks and Diffusion. I am writing a second edition with Tom Valente of his classic book on networks and diffusion.