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Dear Emanuela, Ryan, and colleagues,
It seems to me that we all agree that SNA is a strong tool for the analysis
of structure in data, but that the dynamics ("change") require additional
methodologies. The best one can do with SNA is comparative statics.
The jump to a cultural narrative as the only alternative is too quickly made
for me. The cultural narrative focuses on the cases which happened to occur,
but not on what might have occurred, i.e., the statistics of the
development. I suggest that we need a calculus for this and information
theory provides us with this apparatus:
The Static and Dynamic Analysis of Network Data Using Information Theory,
Social Networks 13 (1991) 301-345; at
Of course, one also needs substantive theories for the specification of the
mechanisms. Cultural studies can be very helpful from this perspective.
With best wishes,
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)
Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam
Tel.: +31-20- 525 6598; fax: +31-20- 525 3681
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