*****  To join INSNA, visit  *****

I know that when I read Mustafa Emirbayer's "Manifesto for a Relational 
Sociology" it all clicked for me.

The only quote I have at my fingertips defines the problem nicely:

"…whether to conceive of the social world as consisting primarily in 
substances or in processes, in static “things” or in dynamic, unfolding 
relations… Rational-actor and norm-based models, diverse holisms and 
structuralisms, and statistical ‘variable’ analyses- all of them beholden 
to the idea that it is entities that come first and relations among them 
only subsequently- hold sway throughout much of the 
discipline…increasingly, researchers are searching for viable analytic 
alternatives, approaches that reverse these basic assumptions and depict 
social reality instead in dynamic, continuous, and processual 
terms  (1997:281)."

Hence, the need for relationalism.  SNA to me is the methods that are 
intimately linked to this theoretical perspective or paradigm.

Emirbayer, Mustafa. 1997. “Manifesto for a Relational Sociology.” American 
Journal of Sociology 103:281-317.
Emirbayer, Mustafa and Jeff Goodwin. 1994. “Network Analysis, Culture, and 
the Problem of Agency.” American Journal of Sociology 99:1411-54


At 01:15 PM 1/5/2006, Barry Wellman wrote:
>*****  To join INSNA, visit  *****
>Dear Sergio Romero (and others),
>Your homework assignment is to write 100 times:
>"Social Network Analysis is not 'a method' but a paradigm.
>A way of looking at the social world and analyzing it."
>To see it as only a method is to miss the whole point of SNA.
>  Barry, INSNA founder
>  _____________________________________________________________________
>   Barry Wellman         Professor of Sociology        NetLab Director
>   wellman at
>   Centre for Urban & Community Studies          University of Toronto
>   455 Spadina Avenue    Toronto Canada M5S 2G8    fax:+1-416-978-7162
>              To network is to live; to live is to network
>  _____________________________________________________________________
>SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
>network researchers ( To unsubscribe, send
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Jordi Comas
Visiting Assistant Professor
Bucknell University
570 577-3161
[log in to unmask]

Dissertation and Research Blog:

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

"Not all learning leads to intelligent behavior."  James March 

SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers ( To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.