Measuring social networks cross-culturally

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Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Elsevier B.V.


This article is based on a study that highlights the role of social relationships on people's behaviours and attitudes. The study here presented focuses on measurement of women's networks because of their pivotal responsibilities towards children and household nutrition. The study was developed during fieldwork research and used a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. Qualitative methods were used first to explore social and cultural context. The study tested for reliability and validity of network measurement in a cross-cultural survey from two ethnic groups in rural West Africa. Women organized their network into four types of support domains; material help, practical 'hands full' support, advice, and emotional support. Two case studies are presented to highlight some points.


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Women, Gender, Cross-cultural measurement, Reliability, Validity, Social support, Data collection techniques, Methodology, Case studies, West Africa, Social networks


Social Networks 28 (4): 363-376