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Social network analysis and festival cities: an exploration of concepts, literature and methods

David Jarman (School of Marketing, Tourism and Languages, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)
Eleni Theodoraki (School of Marketing, Tourism and Languages, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)
Hazel Hall (Centre for Social Informatics, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)
Jane Ali-Knight (School of Marketing, Tourism and Languages, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Article publication date: 14 October 2014

Abstract

Purpose

Social network analysis (SNA) is an under-utilised framework for research into festivals and events. The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the history of SNA and explore its key concepts, in order that they might be applied to festivals and their environments.

Design/methodology/approach

Secondary material underpins the paper, primarily SNA literature, tourism studies research and festival industry publications.

Findings

Festival cities offer dynamic environments in which to investigate the workings of social networks. The importance of such networks has long been recognised within the industry, yet there is scant reflection of this in the event studies literature. Uses of SNA in tourism studies publications offer some precedents.

Originality/value

This paper emphasises the importance of relationships between people in a festival economy, complementing and building upon stakeholder analyses. A research method is proposed, suitable for application across a diverse range of festivals and events.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Grateful thanks go to Dr Heide Weishaar and Mark Wong, both of whom are based at the University of Edinburgh and Coordinate Social Network Analysis Scotland.

Citation

Jarman, D., Theodoraki, E., Hall, H. and Ali-Knight, J. (2014), "Social network analysis and festival cities: an exploration of concepts, literature and methods", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 311-322. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEFM-11-2013-0034

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited