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Without commending your statements, I just want to add a new book (available just in German) which deals with some of the aspects you brought up and which seems to answer some of your questions in a very innovative way:
Hollstein, Betina/Straus, Florin (2006): Qualitative Netzwerkanalyse. Konzepte, Methoden, Anwendungen. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.
-------- Original-Nachricht --------
Datum: Mon, 6 Nov 2006 16:37:23 -0000
Von: "Chattoe-Brown, Dr E." <[log in to unmask]>
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Qualitative and Quantitative Network Studies ...
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> "But many, many stories were told; from what could be gathered, all fifty
> of the mine's inhabitants had reacted on each other, two by two, as in
> combinatorial analysis, that is to say, everyone with all the others, and
> especially every man with all the women, old maids or married, and every woman
> with all the men. All I had to do was select two names at random, better if
> of different sex, and ask a third person: "What happened with those two?"
> and lo and behold, a splendid story was unfolded for me, since everyone knew
> the story of everyone else. It is not clear why these events, often quite
> complicated and always intimate, were told so offhandedly, particularly to
> me of all people, who on the contrary could tell nothing to anyone, not
> even my real name. But it appears that this is my fate (and I'm definitely not
> complaining about it): I am one of those people to whom many things are
> told." [Levi, Primo (1985) The Periodic Table, translated by Raymond
> Rosenthal, London: Mich!
> ael Joseph, p. 68.]
> Dear All,
> Sorry for following this thread somewhat after everyone else but it set me
> thinking again about the issue. I have looked at some references (below)
> which sound as if they deal with qualitative network analysis but actually
> what they seem to do is carry out quantitative network analysis in a more
> qualitative way. By this I mean that they either catch people "informally"
> but still do the same surveys (in the bar rather than in the lab) or they use
> more "free form" methods to collect the same data i. e. respondent draws a
> map of network ties rather than answers questions.
> So then, the question is, why doesn't this "exhaust" what we (ought to?)
> mean by qualitative network analysis? I can think of at least three reasons
> but there may be more. The first is deconstructing the notion of a
> "relation". We are all pretty happy that asking certain kinds of questions ties in
> well with certain kinds of relations and that these questions do not
> confuse relations of different kinds. But are there relational distinctions that
> are hard to make clearly using closed form questions or kinds of relation
> that are very hard to capture in this way because of standard problems of
> recall, interpretation and so on. For example, suppose the relation involves
> the offering and soliciting of favours. That may tie in well with the
> question "Who do you feel you could ask a favour of?" On the other hand, it may
> not because a) you might feel you could and actually discover you couldn't,
> b) favours may be rather hard to recall after they have happened: Ask
> yourself who you la!
> st borrowed a book from and c) favours themselves probably cover a pretty
> wide range of levels of intimacy. I'll happily tell a stranger the time
> but only lend my handkerchief to a handful of close family. Getting people to
> talk qualitatively about their relations may - as the standard advantage
> of qualitative research - allow one to inductively establish meaningful
> relational categories rather than deductively attribute them.
> The second reason what one might call Machiavellian network use.
> Typically, studies seem to look at ego networks (including the view by ego about how
> his/her alters are related) or whole networks but in principle, we could
> combine these and study each actors view of the whole set of network ties
> and see how these "stack up". For many relations (perhaps all) we should take
> the view of ego about the nature of ties as sovereign but perhaps there
> are cases where we should not. (For example, we sometimes feel our friends
> know us - and perhaps our relationships - better than we know ourselves.)
> Machiavellian network use involves statements of the kind: "I know that Bob
> hates Mary so if I want to know about Mary's new boyfriend without Mary
> finding out, I can safely ask Bob but I can't take what he says as gospel." Of
> course, we will disagree about how typical such reasoning is, but it seems
> to me that whole subjective networks may be both important and hard to
> elicit qualitatively.
> The final reason is that we may either be obliged or or find ourselves
> able to say things about networks from pre-existing or non-standard forms of
> data. We could, for example, produce networks for characters in Friends
> based on watching TV or from police surveillance data or historical records of
> committee meetings. In these cases, the question is how do we
> systematically build networks from what we have got, given that it is not what we would
> ideally need to do "standard" SNA. For example, police video footage shows
> two men meeting on a street corner. Do they satisfy the "knows" relation or
> are they disguised or using false names? Can we justify the claim that
> they have any stronger relation - hand-clasps, hugs, smiles of recognition -
> based initially on pure observation and then perhaps on triangulating data
> from phone taps, confessions and so on? All of this could reasonably be
> considered "qualitative" inference of the kind that ethnographers often make
> and are called up!
> on to justify.
> All the best,
> References (partly from a previous call to socnet on this topic)
> Bollig, M. (2000) 'Staging Social Structures: Ritual and Social
> Organisation in an Egalitarian Society: The Pastoral Pokot of Northern Kenya',
> Ethnos, 65(3), xx, pp. 341-365.
> Chattoe, Edmund and Hamill, Heather (2005) 'It's Not Who You Know - It's
> What You Know About People You Don't Know That Counts: Extending the
> Analysis of Crime Groups as Social Networks', British Journal of Criminology,
> 45(6), November, pp. 860-876.
> Dominguez, xx and Watkins, xx (2003) 'Creating Networks for Survival and
> Mobility: Social Capital among African-American and Latin American
> Low-Income Mothers', Social Problems, 50(1), xx, pp. 111-135.
> Frank, Ken A. (1998) 'The Social Context of Schooling: Quantitative
> Methods', Review of Research in Education, 23, pp. 171-216.
> Lazega, Emmanuel (1997) 'Network Analysis and Qualitative Research: A
> Method of Contextualisation', in Miller, Gale and Dingwall, Robert (eds.)
> Context and Method in Qualitative Research (London: Sage Publications), pp.
> Lonkila, Markku (1999) 'Social Networks in Post-Soviet Russia: Continuity
> and Change in the Everyday Life of St. Petersburg Teachers',
> Lonkila, Markku and Harmo, Timo (1999) 'Toward Computer-Assisted
> Qualitative Network Analysis', Connections, 22(1), xx, pp. 52-61.
> Natarajan, M. (2000) 'Understanding the Structure of a Drug Trafficking
> Organization: A Conversational Analysis', in Natarajan, M. and Hough, M.
> (eds.) Illegal Drug Markets: From Research to Policy, Crime Preventions Studies
> Volume 11 (Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press), pp. xx-xx.
> Schweizer, T. and White, D. R. (1998) Kinship, Networks and Exchange
> (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
> Trotter, Robert T. II (1999) 'Friends, Relatives and Relevant Others:
> Conducting Ethnographic Network Studies', in Schensul, Jean J., LeCompte,
> Margaret D., Trotter, Robert T. II, Cromley, Ellen K. and Singer, Merrill
> Mapping Social Networks, Spatial Data and Hidden Populations, Ethnographers
> Toolkit Volume 4 (Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press), pp. 1-50.
> Trotter, Robert T. II (2000) 'Ethnography and Network Analysis: The Study
> of Social Context in Cultures and Societies', in Albrecht, Gary L.,
> Fitzpatrick, Ray and Scrimshaw, Susan C. (eds.) The Handbook of Social Studies in
> Health and Medicine (London: Sage Publications), pp. 210-229.
> White, Doug and Johansen, Ulla C. (2005) Network Analysis and Ethnographic
> Problems: Process Models of a Turkish Nomad Clan (xx, xx: Lexington
> Ziker, J. and Schnegg, M. (2005) 'Food Sharing at Meals: Kinship,
> Reciprocity and Clustering in the Taimyr Autonomous Okrug, Northern Russia', Human
> Nature, 16(2), xx, pp. 178-211.
> There are also some references in German that I couldn't read:
> Hollstein, Betina (2001): Grenzen sozialer Integration. Zur Konzeption
> informeller Bezieh ungen und Netzwerke. (Forschung Soziologie; Bd. 140),
> Opladen: Leske+Budrich.
> Hollstein, Betina (2002): Soziale Netzwerke nach der Verwitwung. Eine
> Rekon struktion der Veränderungen informeller Beziehungen. (Forschung
> Soziologie; Bd. 141), Opladen: Leske+Budrich.
> Schnegg, M. (2005). Das Fiesta Netzwerk: Soziale Organisation in einer
> mexikanischen Gemeinde, 1679-2001. Münster, Lit.
> Straus, Florian (2002): Netzwerkanalysen. Gemeindepsychologische
> Perspektiven für Forschung und Praxis, Wiesbaden, Dt. Univ.-Verl.
> Straus, Florian/Höfer, Renate (1998): Die Netzwerkperspektive in der
> Praxis, in: Röhrle, Bernd / Sommer, Gert / Nestmann, Frank (Hrsg.):
> Netzwerkinterventionen, Tübingen, dgvt-Verlag, 76-95.
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