***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/ ***** Ferry Koster wrote: > As far as I have seen, the people that > demonstrated wanted to express their feelings about this war. For a large > part, the only thing organized where the time, the place and some of the > speakers. My point is that it is possible that network theory does not have > a lot to say about this. Even if the protest events are not formally organized, it does not follow that network theory has nothing to say. (Quite the opposite, in fact -- these are the more interesting cases, at least to a sociologist.) For a little of the past (formal) work in this area, you might want to see: Granovetter, Mark. (1978). “Threshold Models of Collective Behavior.” American Journal of Sociology, 83, 1420-1443. Macy, Michael W. (1991). “Chains of Cooperation: Threshold Effects in Collective Action.” American Sociological Review, 56. Macy, Michael W. (1993). "Social Learning and the Structure of Collective Action." Advances in Group Processes, 10, 1-35. Glance, Natalie S. and Huberman, Bernardo A. (1994). "Social Dilemmas and Fluid Organizations." In K.M. Carley and M.J. Prietula (Eds), Computational Organization Theory. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates You might also ask how those who elect to protest have come by their opinions, particularly given the primarly pro-war media barrage. This, too, is a matter on which network theory has much to say. At risk of dumping a long list on you (but it's such an _exciting_ list!), here's a (small) sampling of what's available: Burt, Ronald S. (1987). “Social Contagion and Innovaation: Cohesion Versus Structural Equivalence.” American Journal of Sociology, 92, 1287-1335. Butts, Carter. (1998). “A Bayesian Model of Panic in Belief.” Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, 4(4). Carley, Kathleen M. (1990). "Group Stability: A Socio-Cognitive Approach." Advances in Group Processes, 7, 1-44. Carley, Kathleen M. (1991). "A Theory of Group Stability." American Sociological Review, 56(3), 331-354. Coleman, James, Katz, Elihu, and Menzel, Herbert. (1957). "The Diffusion of an Innovation Among Physicians." Sociometry, 20, 253-270. Coleman, James, Katz, Elihu, and Menzel, Herbert. (1966). "The Diffusion of an Innovation Among Physicians." In Leinhardt (Ed.), Social Networks: A Developing Paradigm. Friedkin, Noah, and Cook, Karen. (1990). "Peer Group Influence." Sociological Methods and Research, 19(1), 122-143. Friedkin, Noah and Johnsen, Eugene C. (1990). "Social Influence and Opinions." Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 15, 193-206. Krackhardt, David. (1994). "Endogenous Preferences: A Structural Approach." Working paper, H.J. Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University. Krackhardt, David. (1997). "Organizational Viscosity and the Diffusion of Controversial Innovations." Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 22(2), 177-199. Latane, Bibb. (1996). "Dynamic Social Impact: The Creation of Culture by Communication." Journal of Communication, 46(4), 13-25. Latane, Bibb, and L'Herrou, Todd. (1996). "Spatial Clustering in the Conformity Game: Dynamic Social Impact in Electronic Groups." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70(6), 1218-1230. Markovsky, Barry, and Thye, Shane. (2001). "Social Influences on Paranormal Beliefs." Sociological Perspectives, 44(1), 21-44. Valente, Thomas W. (1993). “Diffusion of Innovations and Policy Decision-Making.” Journal of Communication, 43(1), 30-41. Valente, Thomas W. (1995). Network Models of the Diffusion of Innovations. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press. Valente, T.W., Kim, Y.M., Lettenmaier, C., Glass, W., and Dibba, Y. (1994). “Radio and the Promotion of Family Planning in the Gambia.” International Perspectives on Family Planning, 20(3), 96-100. I've left out quite a few folx, but this should convey something of the breadth of the kinds of models which are out there. This is a domain which has been rather extensively theorized by social networkers, perhaps in excess of the available data. (Most of these models have at least some data backing them up, but to my knowledge there have been relatively few head-to-head comparisons (partially, I think, due to a divergence in the low-level assumptions about what is being modeled). If someone's looking for a good project, this is a challenging candidate!) I'm sure that others here will have their own favorites, as well...but, in any event, I think this is sufficient to speak to the conjecture that network theory has little to say either about collective behavior or about public opinion. Hopefully, someone is gathering data regarding the present conflict; it will be interesting to see how these various models play out against reality.* -Carter * Again, this is not to belittle the important empirical work which has been (and is being) done. It is merely the case that there is still much to do. _____________________________________________________________________ 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.