Introduction to QSA

26th/9/2017: “Introduction to Qualitative Structural Analysis (QSA)” (6 hour slot) during the “Third European Conference on Social Networks” in Mainz (26 – 29 September 2017)

Workshop „Introduction to Qualitative Structural Analysis (QSA)“

Workshop organizers: Andreas Herz, Luisa Peters, Inga Truschkat (alphabetic order)

 Qualitative Structural Analysis (QSA) is an approach for analyzing qualitative network data (e.g. network maps and narrative data from interviews). QSA is based on procedures from qualitative research (sequential analysis, sensitizing concepts, memo writing) and integrates these procedures with concepts from formal network analysis. QSA is thus a combination of the analytical perspective of structural analysis and analytical standards taken from qualitative social research.

In the workshop participants will get an insight in the theoretical and methodical basis as well as basic principles of QSA. Here we introduce both basic premises of qualitative social research and of social network analysis and how they can be accomplished and integrated via QSA. We explore the process of analysis via QSA and introduce hands-on methods for the qualitative analysis of network data. Amongst others, we discuss how QSA allows to sequence and interpret qualitative data material via structure-, relation- and actor-focused questions and how concepts from SNA can be used as sensitizing concepts to guide the analysis. Strategies to integrate material from different sources in the analysis (e.g. qualitative interview and network map) are also discussed.

The format of the workshop encompasses presentations to introduce the basics, small group sessions to practice hands-on analysis strategies and open question slots.

Note: Participants get the opportunity to bring own qualitative network data from own empirical projects to be analysed in small group analysis sessions (network map, transcript of interview part, etc) and – depending on the number of workshop participants – the possibility to discuss questions in own qualitative network projects. Please contact Andreas Herz ( before the workshop to organize who brings qualitative material to the sessions.

Recommended Reading prior to the workshop:

Herz, A., Peters, L. & Truschkat, I. (2015). How to do Qualitative Structural Analysis: The Qualitative Interpretation of Network Maps and Narrative Interviews. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [52 paragraphs], 16(1). Online available:


Workshop length: full day/ 2 sessions (6 hours total)