The North Manchester Social Networks Project

The North Manchester Social Networks Project studies the connections between 2,418 residents from eight North Manchester localities (including four neighbourhoods with high national deprivation IMD2007 rankings). The study explores the relationship between micro and macro social network patterns and several urban outcomes including, i) social cohesion in and between neighbourhoods, ii) social capital and access to resources and iii) homophily and diversity structures. Part of this research was funded by the Manchester Statistical Society with a grant to Daniela D’Andreta at the University of Manchester. The rationale of the study strongly reflects the Society’s founding aims.

The £2,775 grant was used to boost the original survey sample size and also enabled the collection and analysis of a supplementary interview dataset on racist and non-racist attitudes to immigration, tracking attitude diffusion through informal social networks. Two local residents were recruited and trained as short-term research assistants. This unusual method worked well to allow better access to hard-to-reach resident-respondents by overcoming issues of distrust and was consequently successful in producing more open commentary and increased result validity.