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David,

My apologies to any gasp-inducing statements about who are White's
students.  Of course, I don't mean to imply that such a group is itself
homogenous or necessarily charged with being the purveyor of White's
theories.  I gathered what you said about stories and disciplines, and
their relation to bringing culture and phenomenology in.  I liked the book
for those reasons.  I just haven't been exposed to what has been done that
departs form those concerns.

I came across the book while lost in my PhD (pre-thesis) studies and trying
to find an overview of a network approach.  So, that experience may be
substantively different than people more centrally involved in developing
network approaches.

The growth of people on SOCNET is a testament to the success of the core
ideas of White and many others.

I liked your comment because it is reminiscent of the kinds of interactions
we would have if we were all actually together.

Newbie walks up:  Do you know this book by Harrison White?

Granovetter, Brieger, Wellman, et al : [Gasping] Uh, yes.  In fact, he
advised all of our PhDs or co-authored articles with us.  And, who [ahem]
are you?

Newbie: No one [Running for exit].

Best,
Jordi


At 03:34 PM 9/29/2003 -0400, David Gibson wrote:
>Jordi,
>
>An observation about disciplines: I take one objective of I&C to theorize
>the bases of network stability, and thereby to problematize action/agency.
>Talk of disciplines moves us beyond "flat" network representations --
>where if you add more people or more ties you just have more nodes and
>lines, like a plate of spaghetti in Flatland -- towards a more
>three-dimensional conception wherein network stability may rest upon
>valuational systems that sociograms can't directly get at (e.g.,
>perceptions of value in the market), and in which networks otherwise fold
>back in on themselves to ensure their own continuation. (A warning about
>HCW exegesis: the more you try to explain his ideas the more you sound
>like him.)
>
>Regarding stories: This is HCW's attempt to reinfuse culture into
>networks, having found that graph representations too easily lead us away
>from the phenomenology of ties.
>
>SOCNET as an emergent intelligence gasped at your question about HCW
>students, but nonetheless... his students include, just off the top of my
>ahead and my sincere apologies to everyone I'm about to forget: DiMaggio,
>Leifer, Granovetter, Breiger, Boorman, Morrill, Bearman, Carley, Gould,
>Wellman, Chase, and lots more, including junior people like me, Matt
>Bothner, and Ann Mische. (I realize that not all of those listed were
>exclusively HCW students.)
>
>I think it's safe to say that Harrison's stamp remains on all of these
>people, though there's probably no meaningful sense in which they're all
>doing Whitean sociology. In part this may be because I&C as a synthetic
>statement only came out a little over a decade ago, in part because it's
>hard-going (despite Collins' judicious blurb, in which he speaks of
>"memorable images, pungent wordings," etc.), and in part because Harrison
>is less of a proselytizer of a certain theory than an encourager of good
>ideas and smart people.
>
>David Gibson
>
>
>
>Jordi Comas wrote:
>>*****  To join INSNA, visit
>><http://www.sfu.ca/%7Einsna/>http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****
>>
>>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.
>>
>>
>>Jordi
>>
>>
>>
>>At 10:55 PM 9/27/2003 -0400, David Gibson wrote:
>>>*****  To join INSNA, visit
>>><http://www.sfu.ca/%7Einsna/>http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****
>>>
>>>Don,
>>>
>>>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:
>>>
>>>>*****  To join INSNA, visit
>>>><http://www.sfu.ca/%7Einsna/>http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****
>>>>
>>>>Hi,
>>>>
>>>>        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:
>>>> <http://www.isnae.org/mailman/listinfo/white/>http://www.isnae.org/mailman/listinfo/white/
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>-Don
>>>>--
>>>>Don Steiny - Central Coast Angel Network -
>>>><http://www.ccangels.net>www.ccangels.net
>>>>Institute for Social Network Analysis of the Economy -
>>>><http://www.isnae.org>www.isnae.org
>>>>  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
>>>>(<http://www.sfu.ca/%7Einsna/>http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/). To unsubscribe, send
>>>>an email message to
>>>><mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask] containing the line
>>>>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
>>>network researchers
>>>(<http://www.sfu.ca/%7Einsna/>http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/). To unsubscribe, send
>>>an email message to
>>><mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask] containing the line
>>>UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.
>>
>>Jordi Comas
>>Visiting Assistant Professor
>>Management
>>Bucknell University
>>570 577-3161
>><mailto:[log in to unmask]>[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
>>network researchers
>>(<http://www.sfu.ca/%7Einsna/>http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/). To unsubscribe, send
>>an email message to <mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]
>>containing the line
>>UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.
>
>
>--
>David Gibson
>Assistant Professor
>Department of Sociology
>Harvard University
>536 William James Hall
>33 Kirkland Street
>Cambridge, MA 02138
>
>Voice: (617) 495-3825
>Fax: (617) 496-5794
>
><http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/soc/faculty/gibson/>http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/soc/faculty/gibson/

Jordi Comas
Visiting Assistant Professor
Management
Bucknell University
570 577-3161
[log in to unmask]

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