Dear Sanne,

It would be worth thinking carefully before deciding between Actor Network
Theory or Social Network Analysis.
If you want a sociologically qualitative approach, then Actor Network Theory
will be your choice (most sociologists would regard SNA as a quantitative
From a model theory point of view, SNA can be either quantitative or
qualitative depending on the properties of the network being studied.

The best on-line sources of ANT literature are: & (although the
latter is more on the Social Shaping of Technology (SST)).

Given your subject is 'the organisation of the Linux community' I'm not sure
ANT is the best method. If you were looking to study the co-evolution of the
community and it's technology using primarily ethnographic methods, then ANT
would be the tool of choice. For questions of structure I would have thought
SNA more appropriate - especially given the subject area.

Food for thought,


Dr David Shipworth
Faculty of Science
University of Reading, RG6 6AW, UK.
Tel. +44 (0)118 3787177
‘Doubt is not a pleasant condition but certainty is an absurd one.’

-----Original Message-----
From: Social Network Researchers [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf
Of S.te.Meerman
Sent: 09 September 2002 12:38
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: qualitative actor network theory

Hello All,

I have just recently subscribed to this mailing list so I'm not familiar
with the do's and don'ts, but I suspect everybody has introduced
themselves to eachother, so I will too.

My name is Sanne te Meerman and I'm a student of social
scientific information knowledge. Currently I'm writing a thesis for
my master degree. My subject is the organisation of the Linux
community. For this, I am searching for literature about the actor
network theory or the social network theory, that is suitable for
qualitative research purposes. (preferably on-line literature).

If any of you knows where to find this, I'll be glad to know!

many thanks,
Sanne te Meerman