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Dear all (Kate, Barry, socnetters...)
I think that it could be: bigger GNP - bigger networks but the explaining
mechnism is not the economy.
What I found in my dissertation was that people start relationships if they
know about the future, or are not too uncertain about what will be. In East
Germany during the tranisiton it became very difficult for the inhabitants
to become aware of their interests and their future goals: value of
education changed, the currency changed, the country was overrolled with
'western' products, traffic rules changed and so on. Past insights, values
(or investments) became questionable.
Further: the organization of meetings changed: in East Germany, daily life
was highly organized and structured by state institutions. Think of all the
committees at work, neighborhood, for leisure time etc. These organizations
ceased to exist and people had to arrange cotnacts much more by themselves.
These circumstances made it difficult to engage in new relationships.
Furthermore, because of the strong organization and the high political
control, trustworthiness became an important issue in relationships in the
former GDR. Speaking about politics was occurred only in relations to those
with whom one also could talk about important personal matters. In an
article together with Henk Flap in Rationality and Society in (2001) we
tried to show that people therefore created highly dense core networks (we
called it: niches), the 'forbidden triad' did only rarely occur. This
changed after the political trunover.

People also broke up a number of ties, mainly ties to those they did not
really trust during the socialist system. These were ties partially ties to
neighbors (as far as you can break them, but they tried to avoid becoming
involved in any activity) but also ties that were mainly instrumental: ties
that helped to compensate for the shortage of all kind of commodities,the
ties that made for the informal economy. A majority of these ties have been
quite weak - their main function was the exchange of commodities.

To make a long story shorter: During the transition in the former GDR (I
refer to the time period between 1989 and 1994) people did not engage in new
relationship because they were uncertain about their future. They broke
relationships to those who were not trustworthy and merely instrumental for
the exchange of goods short in supply.
You see, I start telling you a long story... I hope I do not bore you.

I would be glad to discuss these or related issues with you,
kind regards,

Beate Volker



Beate Völker
Sociology/ICS
Utrecht University
Heidelberglaan 1
NL-3584 CS Utrecht
phone: +31-30-2533467
fax: +31-30-2534404
email: [log in to unmask]


-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: Barry Wellman [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Verzonden: woensdag 29 januari 2003 17:46
Aan: Beatte Volker; Catherine Johnson
CC: social networks list
Onderwerp: Re: transition and personal networks


Cate and Beate,
This raises an interesting research question:
Do networks shrink and rise in step with the economy?

Bigger GNP > bigger nets
Biggern nets > Bigger GDP
?

 Barry
 ___________________________________________________________________

  Barry Wellman        Professor of Sociology       NetLab Director
  [log in to unmask]   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
 ___________________________________________________________________

On Wed, 29 Jan 2003, Catherine Johnson wrote:

> Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2003 11:19:27 -0500
> From: Catherine Johnson <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: transition and personal networks
>
> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****
>
> Also check out:
> Beate Volker, "Should auld acquaintance be forgot...?: Institutions
> of Communism, the Transition to Capitalism and Personal
> Networks: The Case of East Germany", Amsterdam Thesis
> Publishers, 1995.
>
> She found that in former East Germany personal networks shrunk
> somewhat during transition.
>
> Kate
>
>
> Date sent:              Wed, 29 Jan 2003 11:00:51 -0500
> Send reply to:          Emmanuel Koku <[log in to unmask]>
> From:                   Emmanuel Koku <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject:                Re: transition and personal networks
> To:                     [log in to unmask]
>
> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****
>
> Hi,
> HI,
>
> Check out Endre Sik (with Hungarian data)  & Vicente Espinoza's (with
Latin American data) articles in Barry Wellman's book: Networks in the
Global Village (Boulder, CO: Westview Press)
>
> In addition, research from the development literature (especially, those
relating to responses to IMF/World Bank's structural adjustment policies)
show how networks can be used to gain access to scarce but neccessary
resources (food, shelter and clothing).  I don't have references right on
hand,
> but can dig further.
>
> /Em
>
>
 ==========================================================================
> Emmanuel Koku
> Research Consultant - Sexual Health
> Toronto Public Health, Policy and Planning
> 175 Memorial Park Avenue
> Toronto, Ontario.  M4J 4Y6
> Tel:  416 - 338 - 0905
> [log in to unmask]
> ==========================================================================
>
> >>> Sam Friedman <[log in to unmask]> 01/29/03 07:58am >>>
> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****
>
> I just reached Buenos Aires for a week to help start a study on social
> influences on sexual and social networks, and drug user networks, in a
> poor neighborhood in a time of transition and turmoil.  We will be
> working on the questionnaire over the next 2 or 3 months.
>
> I would like any ideas on either Olga s question or those raised by my
> study.
>
> Sam Friedman
> National Development and Research Institutes
> 71 West 23d Street, 8th floor
> New York, NY 10010
> USA
> 1 212 845 4467
> Fax 1 917 438 0894
> [log in to unmask]
> >>> Olga Mayorova <[log in to unmask]> 01/28/03 14:45 PM >>>
> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****
>
> Hello all,
>
> Help needed. I have been trying to find citations supporting the
> statement
> that in times of social and economic transition individuals rely more on
> their personal networks rather than on formal institutions in their
> economic
> activities, and in particular in job searches. But my efforts were
> unsuccessful. From what I have found I got the impression that authors
> assume it to be a well-known social fact and do not cite any important
> works
> that have provided support for it's truthfulness. Any help with
> citations on
> this topic will be greatly appreciated.
>
> Thank you,
>
> Olga
>
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> _____________________________________________________________________
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> *********************
> Catherine Johnson
> PhD Candidate
> Faculty of Information Studies
> University of Toronto
> Room 634
> 140 St George St
> Toronto, ON  M5S 3G6
> tel: 416-978-8851
> fax: 416-971-1399
> website:http://www.fis.utoronto.ca/phd/johnson
>
> _____________________________________________________________________
> SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
> network researchers (http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/). To unsubscribe, send
> an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
> UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.
>

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