LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for SOCNET Archives


SOCNET Archives

SOCNET Archives


SOCNET@LISTS.UFL.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

SOCNET Home

SOCNET Home

SOCNET  May 2005

SOCNET May 2005

Subject:

SV: blog post on "Isolated social networkers"

From:

Fredrik liljeros <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Fredrik liljeros <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 19 May 2005 20:40:28 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (199 lines)

*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

Dear dr. Hargittai,
 
Could you please give us the references to the work you discuss?
 
;-)
 
Fredrik
 

Fredrik Liljeros (Phd)

Department of Sociology
S 106 91 Stockholm
Sweden

E:mail [log in to unmask]
Homepage: www.sociology.su.se/home/Liljeros/index.html <http://www.sociology.su.se/home/Liljeros/index.html> 

Stockholm Group for Epidemic modelling (S-GEM): www.meb.ki.se/sgem/index_en.html
 
 

        -----Ursprungligt meddelande----- 
        Från: Social Networks Discussion Forum genom Eszter Hargittai 
        Skickat: to 2005-05-19 19:35 
        Till: [log in to unmask] 
        Kopia: 
        Ämne: blog post on "Isolated social networkers"
	
	

        *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
	
        Hi,
	
        I just posted a blog entry called "Isolated social networkers" that I
        thought may be of interest to people on this list since it relates to
        topics we've covered before.
	
        I reproduce the post below, although I recommend viewing it on the blog so
        you can access the embedded links and see the graph.  The comments are
        open so feel free to add your thoughts there (or here, but if you add them
        there, you'll be addressing more than the usual suspects).
	
        Eszter
	
        Isolated social networkers
        Posted by Eszter Hargittai on Crooked Timber
        http://crookedtimber.org/2005/05/19/isolated-social-networkers/
	
        Some physicists have come out with a paper on the Eurovision song contest.
        Of course, we at CT like to be ahead of the curve and thanks to Kieran’s
        ingenuity reported similar findings _over a year ago_. So much for this
        being “new research”.
	
        There has been much excitement about and focus on social networks in the
        past few years ranging from social networking sites to several
        high-profile books on the topic.
	
        Interestingly, much of the buzz about recent work covers research by
        physicists. It’s curious how physicists have expanded their research
        agenda to cover social phenomena. I thought their realm was the physical
        world. Of course, since social phenomena are extremely complex to study,
        as a social scientist, I certainly welcome the extra efforts put into this
        field of inquiry.
	
        What is less welcomed is watching people reinvent the wheel. Sure, partly
        it’s an ego thing. But more importantly, it’s unfortunate if the overall
        goal is scientific progress. Much of the recent work in this area by
        physicists has completely ignored decades worth of work by social
        scientists. If we really do live in such a networked world where
        information is so easy to access, how have these researchers managed to
        miss all the existing relevant scholarship? Recently Kieran pointed me to
        an informative graph published by Lin Freeman in his recent book on "The
        Development of Social Network Analysis":
	
	
        People whose overall work focuses on social networks are represented by
        white dots, physicists by black ones, others by grey circles. As is clear
        on the image, the worlds exist in isolation from each other. It would be
        interesting to see year-of-publication attached to the nodes to see the
        progression of work.
	
        I have been meaning to write about all of this for a while, but John Scott
        from the Univ. Essex addressed these issues quite well in some notes he
        sent to INSNA’s SOCNET mailing list a few months ago so I will just
        reproduce those here. (I do so with permission.)
	
        Originally posted on SOCNET by John Scott on Feb 10, 2005 under the
        heading “Physics and Sociology”
	
        "In all the recent discussions about the relationship between physics and
        sociology in the study of social networks, the fundamental issue seems to
        have been lost sight of. The important issue is not whether the two
        disciplines can or should cooperate. That is essential and it happens
        frequently. Contributors to the discussion have pointed out many fruitful
        and important cases, and the history of sociology is full of many others.
        The big problem arises when academics from one discipline move into the
        area of another discipline without trying to discover what work has
        already been done by its practitioners. At best they reinvent the wheel.
        At worst they antagonise people with their intellectual arrogance.
	
            This is what has happened with much of the recent work on small
        worlds: physicists have argued that their methods and theories can
        illuminate social networks but have failed to realise that a whole
        community of sociological network researchers already exists and has
        done exactly the kind of work that they are pointing to. Their books
        claim to have made startling discoveries about the social world and
        advocate the development of new research programmes on these topics.
        Their reviewers take these claims at face value and so a reputation
        for intellectual novelty is built up.
	
            It is surely a basic failure of normal scholarly research procedures
        that these books can be written and published without the author
        undertaking any proper literature search. The author of one recent
        book expounding the novelty of the ‘power law’ does not seem to
        realise that sociological work over many years has documented the
        existence of this kind of distribution in many real social networks.
        None of this is cited. Its author does not seem to have discovered the
        existence of journals on social networks, nor does he seem to realise
        that INSNA exists and that the cover design of its newsletter shows a
        network with a power law structure. This same book is based around the
        author’s research into internet search engines, but it doesn’t seem as
        if he has ever typed the words ‘social networks’ into Google or any
        other search engine.
	
            If I were to come up with the idea that familiar theories from
        sociology could illuminate problems in physics, the first thing I
        would do would be a literature search to see if anybody, in physics or
        elsewhere, had already worked on the issue. Physicists who followed
        the same strategy when they wished to contribute something to social
        analysis, might find that they would be welcomed more warmly by their
        social science colleagues."
	
        Originally posted on SOCNET by John Scott on Feb 13, 2005 under the
        heading “On the Shoulders of Giants”
	
        "The contributions to the ‘physics and sociology’ debate have, as with all
        the discussions on SOCNET, raised many interesting and important issues.
        Many contributors have, quite rightly, focused on issues of citation and
        priority, and how these affect issues of academic justice, and personal
        career chances. One contributor, however, made the important point that
        ‘advancing the science’ is the crucial matter, not personal status. The
        sociology of science shows that these issues cannot be separated, but it
        is certainly true that ‘advancing the science’ should be our fundamental
        concern. In this light, perhaps I can raise one crucial consequence of the
        failure to undertake basic literature surveys in a research area?
	
            The failure to undertake a proper literature search leads researchers
        to waste time that could be put to more productive use in advancing
        the science. As is well-known, those who stand on the shoulders of
        giants are able to see further. Those who do not bother to search out
        the work of the giants are likely to spend a great deal of time
        reinventing things already known and so delaying the point at which
        they or others can see further. This seems to me to be the fundamental
        point: build on what is already known rather than waste time
        rediscovering it. It is in the individual researcher’s self-interest
        to do the search, and it
            contributes to advancing the science.
	
            Some contributors have suggested that such counsel may be unrealistic
        in an age of highly specialised scientific research, as the facilities
        are not available to allow it. One contributor, for example, asked
        whether easily searchable cross-discipline databases that cover both
        physics and sociology exist. Well, yes they do: they are called
        libraries, and their stock is accessible by catalogue and by browsing
        the shelves. People who write books and contribute to journals should
        have the necessary skills to use a library, and any decent academic
        library makes basic literature searches very easy. I have checked the
        library catalogue at the university of the leading physicist that I
        referred to in my original posting and that library contains a run of
        the journal Social Networks as well as the key texts and sources
        produced by Barry Wellman, Stan Wasserman and Katie Faust, and others.
	
            By all means let’s try to forget artificial disciplinary boundaries
        and join together to advance the science of social networks,
        recognising the potential that all specialists have for contributing
        to this. But let’s also remember the basic scholarly skills that make
        it possible for us to advance the science and for all of us to try
        stand on the shoulders of giants."
	
        If you are interested in some of the classics from the social sciences,
        feel free to take a look at the Social Networks reading list I worked with
        in graduate school.
	
        _____________________________________________________________________
        SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
        network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
        an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
        UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.
	

_____________________________________________________________________
SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008, Week 62
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTS.UFL.EDU

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager