Social Network Analysis (SNA) involves the study of the structure and composition of networks that, in turn, is useful for understanding the implications of patterns and relationships among social entities. The focus of SNA is based on relationships within a network rather than the influence and characteristics of individuals within a network. Four key features of SNA are the structure of the social ties, systematic data, graphic representation, and mathematical or computational models. Examples of network structures and graphic representations are provided. This article provides an overview of SNA; it looks at some studies of SNA with indigenous and minority groups; it explores the use of social networks within a Kaupapa Māori analysis; and gives preliminary consideration as to whether SNA may be useful as a method for analysing social networks with Māori collectives. The article also raises considerations for future research using SNA such as who benefits from the knowledge that analysing Māori social networks brings about; what is the use of internet among Māori and to what extent do Māori use internet-based social networking tools; and will SNA enhance our ability to anticipate, understand and explain the relationship between social networks and whānau ora (wellbeing).

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