Keywords: social network analysis, qualitative methods, mixed methods, generalization of results, social context.
Qualitative methods have a useful place in social network analysis, particularly in exploratory studies. Purely methodological social network studies would not benefit from qualitative methods. Research seeking to generalize concepts to other social networks would not necessarily benefit. All social network analyses need quantitative methods of some kind, yet most do not need qualitative methods. Those studies that do use qualitative research should provide detail about how the data from the two approaches will be combined. The set of qualitative methods typically applied to social network analysis should be expanded to include other methods such as text analysis.