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SOCNET  January 2006

SOCNET January 2006

Subject:

Re: SNA is not a method

From:

Loet Leydesdorff <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Loet Leydesdorff <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 7 Jan 2006 09:42:14 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (264 lines)

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

Dear Moses: 

SNA and ANT, in my opinion, have in common that both stress relations and
graphs, while we know since Burt (1982)--and some of us even before that
date--that non-relations are very important for the development of
(eigen-)structure. (I know that one explore an eigenstructure using UCINET,
but it is easier and with more options using SPSS.) 

Furthermore, both types of analysis are more focused on taking snapshots
than on theorizing the (non-linear) dynamics. ANT does the latter because of
its focus on action and change, but the relationship with the pictures is
not easy because of the emphasis on relations in the latter. SNA catches
dynamics (e.g., preferential attachments) insofar as they can be made
visible as a sediment in the data (e.g., a negative power law).

In other words, concepts like "latency" (Lazarsfeld) and the virtual
character of structure (Giddens) are not fully theorized in these
methodologies. As you know, I think that self-organization theory (Maturana,
Luhmann) can help us further because a model for how a complex
dynamics--composed of several subdynamics--evolves, is proposed. It is
sometimes easier to connect this model with simulation studies than with
empirical traditions like SNA and ANT, but visualizations remain most useful
for communication of the understanding. 

With best wishes for 2006, 


Loet

________________________________

Loet Leydesdorff 
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)
Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam
Tel.: +31-20- 525 6598; fax: +31-20- 525 3681 
[log in to unmask] ; http://www.leydesdorff.net/ 

 
 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Social Networks Discussion Forum 
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Moses Boudourides
> Sent: Saturday, January 07, 2006 12:50 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: SNA is not a method
> 
> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
> 
> Socnet, Happy New Year!
> 
> My two cents on SNA, heterogeneity and ANT (I'm just reading 
> Bruno's last book these days.. :-)
> 
> Emanuela, concerning heterogeneity, the right place to look 
> for it in SNA is on 2-mode (or in general n-mode) networks. 
> Among the methods used in such studies, one encounters: 
> Galois lattices (and other discrete data
> analyses) (cf., Freeman, D. White, Schweizer, Mohr, Duquenne, 
> Roth, Pattison, Robins, Mische et al.), correspondence 
> analysis (Faust, Skvoretz, Roberts et al.), affiliation 
> networks and blockmodeling (Breiger, Borgatti, Everett and 
> many others), generalized blockmodeling (Doreian, Batagelj, 
> Ferligoj) etc.
> 
> ANT is quite different than SNA in many respects. (Have 
> people in this list ever heard about ANT?) It's funny but 
> Bruno Latour believes quite the opposite to what Barry 
> Wellman considers about SNA (and more or less I agree with 
> Barry - but I was wondering, Barry, is this the Toronto-Paris 
> anti-link? :-) Latour stresses that ANT is a method or a tool 
> and it is different from a network in the same way that 
> drawing with a pencil is not the same thing as drawing the 
> shape of a pencil.. In any case, until now, I haven't seen 
> any analytical or formal work in ANT and this is normal 
> because of its interpretive priorities. But even in this 
> respect, it's hard to compare, say, Harrison White and Eric 
> Leifer with Bruno Latour and John Law. Sometimes, reading the 
> most provocative manifestos of the field, I have the feeling 
> that ANT deliberately confuses contextualism with relationism 
> and constructivist anti-essentialism with structural 
> anti-individualism. But I'm not sure, I might have 
> misunderstood their arguments.     
> 
> Regards,
> 
> --Moses Boudourides
> 
>   Department of Mathematics
>   University of Patras
>   265 00 Rio-Patras
>   Greece
> 
>   Tel.: +30-2610-996318
>   Fax:  +30-2610-996318, +30-2610-992965 
> 
>   http://www.math.upatras.gr/~mboudour
> 
> 
> On Thu, 5 Jan 2006, E.Todeva wrote:
> 
> > *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
> > 
> > Yes, I agree with you that 'network science' is more 
> appropriate for what we are aiming at, and that 'actors' can 
> incorporate a broad range of 'social/cultural/technological' 
> artefacts such as organisations and web pages.
> > 
> >  
> > 
> > I am not sure though how SNA deals with heterogeneity, and 
> what are the appropriate methods/ methodologies.
> > 
> >  
> > 
> > Emanuela Todeva
> > 
> > 
> > ________________________________
> > 
> > From: Stanley Wasserman [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> > Sent: Thu 05/01/2006 20:11
> > To: Todeva E Dr (SoM)
> > Subject: Re: SNA is not a method
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > just because it is called "social" does not mean it only deals with 
> > people.
> > social network analysis deals with interrelations among 
> social actors, 
> > which can be
> >     nations, organizations, webpages, and so on.
> > to me, it all should be referred to as "network science".
> > 
> > 
> > On Jan 5, 2006, at 2:15 PM, E.Todeva wrote:
> > 
> > > *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
> > >
> > > Dear Barry,
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Knowing the legacy of your contributions I understand why 
> you would 
> > > like to defend this position. But maybe we need to re-think this.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > What about calling 'Network Analysis' a paradigm that 
> incorporates:
> > >
> > > 'social network analysis' with
> > >
> > > 'business network analysis',
> > >
> > > 'actor-network theory', and other methods / approaches / 
> > > methodologies for network analysis.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Can we go beyond interconnected human beings, to interconnected 
> > > organisations and business units, and even heterogeneous 
> systems of 
> > > interconnected people, organisations, institutions, assets/ 
> > > resources, technological/cultural artefacts... My social 
> capital is 
> > > not only my social contacts, and I hardly could capitalise on all 
> > > potential social contacts that I have through SOCNET (for 
> example).
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Emanuela Todeva
> > >
> > > University of Surrey, UK
> > >
> > > ________________________________
> > >
> > > From: Social Networks Discussion Forum on behalf of Barry Wellman
> > > Sent: Thu 05/01/2006 18:15
> > > To: [log in to unmask]
> > > Subject: SNA is not a method
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
> > >
> > > Dear Sergio Romero (and others),
> > >
> > > Your homework assignment is to write 100 times:
> > >
> > > "Social Network Analysis is not 'a method' but a paradigm.
> > > A way of looking at the social world and analyzing it."
> > >
> > > To see it as only a method is to miss the whole point of SNA.
> > >
> > >  Barry, INSNA founder
> > >  
> > > 
> ____________________________________________________________________
> > > _
> > >
> > >   Barry Wellman         Professor of Sociology        
> NetLab Director
> > >   wellman at chass.utoronto.ca  
> > > http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman
> > >
> > >   Centre for Urban & Community Studies          
> University of Toronto
> > >   455 Spadina Avenue    Toronto Canada M5S 2G8    
> fax:+1-416-978-7162
> > >              To network is to live; to live is to network  
> > > 
> ____________________________________________________________________
> > > _
> > >
> > > 
> ____________________________________________________________________
> > > _ 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.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> _____________________________________________________________________
> > 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.
> 

_____________________________________________________________________
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
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