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I stumbled across this example of SNA methods-
It is a website connected to David Horowitz. I haven't had time to look in
great detail or examine its methods. One quick glance at its entry for the
League of Women Voters (founded by people with ties to, or who were,
socialists and pacifists) turned up an alarmingly poor standard of
documenting. For example,:
"In 1983 LWV solidified is pro-abortion stance. In 1989, the League began
work on "motor-voter" registration, which allows, in effect, anyone with a
driver's license to become a voter, regardless of citizenship status. The
first President Bush vetoed motor-voter registration in 1992; in 1993
Clinton signed a re-authorized bill. "
It does raise some issues for me about the maturation of networks as
method, as theory, and as a field of actors. Do we have a public
responsibility to raise awareness and correct false impression about the
use of relational data? Especially, how much malicious or unintentional
misuse is there of directed versus nondirected ties? Are social actors
(people, groups, organizations) the sum of their relations? I understood
Ron Breiger's Keynote address at Sunbelt to urge us to think about networks
in terms of stable relationships and dynamic actors (and not vice verse).
Two cases in point-
a) A NY state Republican is criticized for describing the Democratic party
as a party of "Barbara Boxer, Lynne Stewart and Howard Dean." Lynne
Stewart is an attorney convicted of helping her client, a Muslim Cleric
convicted in the 1993 plot, to send messages to his followers. I suppose
she was a registered Democrat. But that doesn't mean the Democrats, or
Boxer or Dean endorse her (a bi-directional tie?).
b) Cheney''s and Bush's ties to oil companies are long documented, and
often taken as proof of association or coordinated action. Cheney's ties
to Halliburton have been especially criticized. Are those ties more valid
than in a?
Visiting Assistant Professor
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"There is nothing so practical as a good theory." Kurt Lewin
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