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SNA is a threat to democracy if it is held as a solution to a problem.

Democracy means participation - much sna research is the researcher's
perspective and is being done without the participation, and at times,
without even the knowledge of the people/nodes who are included in the

If we are really to map social networks,  including the participants'
perspectives is essential.

Mapping perceived networks retrospectively, does give us a picture, and
there is a place for perceptual sociograms, however they do need to be
defined as such and not be presented as social networks which are dynamic
and changing.

Two main area are  being overlooked in the rush to produce maps of networks.
One is judgement and authenticity which comes from developing interpersonal
perceptions; how you are perceived by others and how others are percieved by
you based on specific criteria.

The other is defining what a relationship is and what constitutes a
relationship. Friendship is not going to reveal the real nature of a
relationship. Unless friendship or closeness is significantly differentiated
and criterion based,  sna is likely to be ineffective in revealing
friendship networks.

I am glad we are having this discussion. Too often in 'democracies', matters
are decided on our behalf which dramatically affect people, without
including them in the decision process. Let SNA not be in this group.

SNA research, well done is an intervention in itself and is the catalyst for
powerful and effective discussions and action.

regards, Diana Jones

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