Social network analysis is an indiscpensable tool for sociology, and is becoming increasing popular in anthropology, social-psychology and other fields. There are many papers that examine the structure of various social networks, especially modern ones derived from Facebook or Twitter data. However, if you are a theorist, it is often difficult to get your hands on publicly available social networks data, especially from non-modern networks (for a great modern -- but not internet-based -- network see the Framingham Heart Study as used in Christakis & Fowler (2007)).

In particular, I am interested in social networks in apes, hunter-gatherer, or 'primitive' tribal societies. Can you recommend a reference that contains data for such social networks?

Some desired properties include: 100-500 people, non-directed edges (so the directed learning networks of Henrich & Broesch (2011) are not quite what I am looking for), and relative general kinds of interactions (like friendship, mutual grooming, or interaction time). The hope is for the raw network (as an adjacency matrix, for example) to be available.


Christakis, N. A., & Fowler, J. H. (2007). The spread of obesity in a large social network over 32 years. New England Journal of Medicine, 357(4): 370-379.

Henrich, J., & Broesch, J. (2011). On the nature of cultural transmission networks: evidence from Fijian villages for adaptive learning biases. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 366(1567): 1139-1148.

  • $\begingroup$ In general social network models are based on social event registration among members of a group, such records are made in social psychology (eg recorded when one subject chooses another for a given task or when it is rejected, through these registers one can reach conclusions about friendship, leadership, marginalized members, etc.), ethology, sociology, anthropology and many other sciences. $\endgroup$ – hexadecimal May 22 '17 at 1:21
  • $\begingroup$ Given the topics you ask for, you could find social network analysis in doctoral theses of ethology, sociology or social anthropology, in a more exclusive way you could find, not only analyzes but all of a large number of records made, the question is that it is very debatable that to serve you for new analysis as it is considered that the objectives validate the records. $\endgroup$ – hexadecimal May 22 '17 at 1:22

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