***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****
I'm glad you like to type... I don't, so I will be brief.
I don't think we disagree... but it is hard to tell from your l
o o o o n g post! ;-)
* we look at attributes of nodes and multiplex ties between them...
we filter the views with whatever variables make sense for this analysis
* yes, networks can be sliced multiple ways and are... but some
patterns seem to repeat... clusters, core/peripheries, brokers,
* yes, a network map has no inherent meaning... it is a talking
document to help those interested make sense of what is happening
* just like an x-ray or cat-scan are not perfect tools, they are
useful... as is SNA facilitated by an experienced person
On Jan 4, 2007, at 5:26 PM, [log in to unmask] wrote:
> Quoting Valdis Krebs <[log in to unmask]>:
>> Birds of a feather flock together... SNA 101.
> This may be true. It seems to me if this is 101, then the
> interesting questions
> for 201 relate to why there is more than one type of bird--SNA
> mavens, for
> instance. Indeed, why do all attempts to capture what is a bird
> seem to be
> fleetng...uncertain, changing. Classification is useful to be
> sure, but
> structure is a fool's errand. This cuts to purpose in SNAs. Why
> is this work
> We might say...ah, you aren't willing to accept that we have a
> given temporal
> perspective! It is understood in all social science that findings
> are but a
> snapshot. Yes, but then what are we about here? What are we
> doing? Making
> histories of the future easier by pointing out relationships that
> seem to
> I think a more interesting SNA 101 than birds of a feather flock
> together would
> be De gustibus non est disputandum...don't argue tastes. Turns out
> that is the
> one economists are struggling with at the moment too.
> You might say this is a group...a social network. People are
> because their skin is one color...race is a network vector...or
> maybe because
> they have a particular business interest. Perhaps, perhaps not.
> If I judge
> based on external relationships, I am berated...and justifiably
> so. Catholics
> may tend to be that, and terrorists tend to be this, but no one is
> about that sort of sociology in SNA I think. Causality flows the
> way...not from correlations but to them. I think people are trying to
> articulate linkages. The key point becomes why this linkage and
> not that one.
> Why do some appearances matter and others not? Why do some borders
> matter and
> others not? Why do some relationships matter and others not? Mere
> correlations? Correlations are external...they are noticed.
> Social network
> analysis is a sort of cultural anthropology--pretty pictures
> assertions about what is significant to a people in a given
> context. You might
> say "It" is an attempt to understand the Other. The non-us
> (whoever we may
> be...those white coated people in the know...the discipline, etc.
> Or maybe we
> are trying to uncover the possible us.
> This is the old saw of anthropologists against sociologists--the
> might say it is a matter of respect...or the hope of not treading
> on whatever
> one studies. Sociologists do "science." Just the facts, ma'am.
> But where is
> the thick description in SNA--in the relationships?
> I'd probably argue that we want to say that SNAs are ways external
> viewers try
> to discuss ontologies they are unfamilar with...often for the
> purpose of
> facilitating ontological linkage, hegemony, or perhaps benign
> They try to understand the *key* linkages that give meaning to the
> They may also attempt to apply certain technologies in the non-
> naive hope of
> learning something of interest to someone about relationships that
> are less
> than obvious...e.g. citation networks in journals. The danger
> arises when we
> make assertions about what these maps mean. To ascribe meaning is
> either to
> understand the underlying culture through great effort, or it is to
> apply dominating generalizations as a way of colonizing what we
> think is a good
> There is a marketplace of ideas, right? Shouldn't we be allowed to
> sell them
> where-ever and to whomever will listen? What would be a social
> network analysis
> in an exotic other culture?
> Why do we think it would be the same or different?
> Ryan Lanham
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.