***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** Have a look at: Robins, G.L., Pattison, P., & Woolcock, J. (2005). Small and other worlds: Global network structures from local processes. American Journal of Sociology, 110, 894-936. where we "freeze" and "melt" various network structures. The link to statistical mechanics and hence to temperature is quite overt because the models have similar forms. Garry Robins >***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** > >I have spent some time trying to conceptualize an issue that I think >borders on SNA if it isn't part of it. Perhaps a mathematician or >physicist in recovery or someone else might help. > >I would like to theorize that the melting characteristic of >organizations that I am finding in my qualitative research is due to an >increased energy in the movement and mobility of persons into and out of >places. This is both a mobility of physical movement and a mobility of >connectivity through IT--email, phone, web, etc. > >My mental picture of this is molecules in motion with various types of >contexts yielding state changes, etc. in various situations. Thus there >might be analogues for PV=nRT etc. > >Thus, bureaucratic organizations (the state, corporations, etc.) are >relatively like ice cubes--rigid, fixed, and fairly stable in molecular >terms. As energy in systems heats up, the ice melts and fractures and >bonds become more liquid. Eventually energy inherent in relationships >reaches levels where the relationships are not liquid-like but more >gaseous. > >Energy is a function of the motility of information. > >Certain organizations are like containers of liquids and cubes made of >ice. Nation-states might fit this bill as might language groups or what >I call ontologies--e.g. religious views. > >Because I am interested in actor-network-theory, I also postulate that >organizations with rigid physical structures as actants (e.g. buildings, >HQs, specific types of systems, accounts, etc.) are also more ice-like >and that information is less likely to flow far and with greater energy >in such organizations. As they melt, there is a sort of slush. > >I am trying to get past the metaphor stage. Any ideas on how to begin >to look at a "kinetic SNA" (i.e. relationships as expressions of >energy)? Has this path already been worked out? I can't find it if it >has. > >Ryan Lanham Dr Garry Robins Department of Psychology School of Behavioural Science University of Melbourne Victoria 3010 Australia Tel: 61 3 8344 4454 Fax: 61 3 9347 6618 Web: www.psych.unimelb.edu.au/people/staff/RobinsG.html _____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.