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As a relative novice, and a relative outsider to the graduate
school/professional association networks of network researchers, I liked
David's suggestion.

I would second the recommendation that useful intersections between White
and other topics or themes on SOCNET would be helpful and interesting to
read.  Has anyone deployed "stories" or "disciplines" in a research
context?  How does White's work link up to Giddens, Bourdieu, and the
Neo-Institutionalists?  How does his influence appear among his students
(an who are they?  Granovetter was one, yes?)?

I remember my first reaction when reading up on networks was elation at
finding _the_ theoretical statement about networks and then being puzzled
as to why it hadn't seemed to spawn a "school" of network theory.


At 10:55 PM 9/27/2003 -0400, David Gibson wrote:
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>Harrison's terminology is indeed idiosyncratic, despite the best effort
>of his students to press him to straighten it out. (I remember one
>article in which delegation is a subtype of delegation -- no, I didn't
>make a typo.) I don't know of any precedent to his use of "discipline,"
>but someone else may (and I don't have my copy of I&C handy to check for
>clues). "Story," as I recall, sometimes carries its conventional
>meaning, which at least serves as a starting point to understanding its
>non-conventional usages. As for where Harrison's ideas came from, he
>thinks highly of Nadel (The Theory of Social Structure), Goffman,
>psychologists like Walter Mischel who dispute the traditional conception
>of personality, and more recently, linguists like Silverstein (whom
>Harrison describes as somewhat opaque, ironically enough) and Gumperz.
>And he takes a lot from physics, though more by way of metaphors than
>mathematical models, at least in I&C.
>But I mostly write to address the issue of a listserv. While I imagine
>Harrison would be flattered -- I don't believe he monitors SOCNET -- I
>think that he would also view a listserv dedicated to him as rather too
>claustrophobic and, frankly, cultish. I think a lot of the people who
>are on this list would agree that his influence on them has been
>tremendous, but what he's encouraged us to do is engage with interesting
>ideas from wherever they come, rather than to spend vast amounts of time
>trying to decipher his work. That being said, I should hope that
>whatever you find most useful in I&C could be productively raised on
>SOCNET, which would be a nice change from emails from people entirely
>new to network analysis and wondering whether anyone's thought to
>measure centrality, etc.
>David Gibson
>Don Steiny wrote:
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>>        After Mark Granovetter suggested I read Identity and Control twice
>>(in both senses) I made a determined effort and have gotten through it
>>the first time.  It has given me a whole new perspective on networks and
>>reading it was a wonderful experience, but I feel like I missed more than
>>I got.  I have a couple of questions.
>>1.  His terminology seems ideosyncratic.  Is there a precident for
>>    using "discipline" the way he does?   How about "story?"
>>2.  I have been looking up some of the key authors he refers to and reading
>>    them.   For instance, Eric Leifer's work related to White gives "ties"
>>    a whole different meaning than how I had been thinking of them.  White
>>    refers to Erving Goffman frequently and I am reading some of his stuff.
>>    It seems to me that Goffman, at least, is "symbolic interactionism"
>>    subdivision of sociology (I may be off base about this, I am just
>> learning).
>>    What would be some other stuff to read to get the big picture of where
>>    White is coming from?
>>3.  I would like to start a listserv to discuss White.  In fact, I already
>>    have, but there is no one subscribed to it but me.  I talked to Mark
>>    Granovetter and he said the he and 4 of his best graduate students
>>    read a chapter of White every week or two and then got together and
>>    disucssed it.  I have learned a lot from listservs on CS Peirce and
>>    Hayek, I am wondering if there would be enough interest in White?
>>    Just in case sign up at:
>>Don Steiny - Central Coast Angel Network -
>>Institute for Social Network Analysis of the Economy -
>>  125 Mission St #3 - Santa Cruz, CA 95060 - 831.471.1671 - fax: 831.471.1670
>>SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
>>network researchers ( To unsubscribe, send
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>>UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.
>David Gibson
>Assistant Professor
>Department of Sociology
>Harvard University
>564 William James Hall
>33 Kirkland Street
>Cambridge, MA 02138
>Voice: (617) 495-3825
>Fax: (617) 496-5794
>SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
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Jordi Comas
Visiting Assistant Professor
Bucknell University
570 577-3161
[log in to unmask]

"There is nothing so practical as a good theory."  Kurt Lewin

SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
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