***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** Valdis: I wonder if it is a bit hopeful to compare a network diagram to a cat scan or X-ray...which may have inherent meaning. In nature, at this wavelength, this is a recording of particles, etc. I am not sure "social" can have inherent meaning. Networks might. Social networks, I doubt. I am not just trying to hammer on the social construction of SNA, but that it is inherently perspective-based--there are no networks--only DEFINITIONS of relationships. Someone calls the shots--is the decider at the risk of sounding like our current president here in the US. It seems to me that the less description is used, the less valid the research because we cannot understand the biases of selection as well. As such, I would nominate as the best SNA book of the last 10 years...Aihwa Ong's "Flexible Citizenship" (1999/Duke UP). My guess is that is what SNA research will likely look like in the future. In it, she begins to point out what it means to use identity and external perception as part of an ontology and to act a certain way--as Chinese--outside borders. In short, she describes how social networks arise in one context--not unlike Claude Fischer a generation before. Funny that a similar book was not written about the British. Ryan Lanham -----Original Message----- From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Valdis Krebs Sent: Thursday, January 04, 2007 5:50 PM To: [log in to unmask] Subject: Re: Recommender systems ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** I'm glad you like to type... I don't, so I will be brief. I don't think we disagree... but it is hard to tell from your l o o o o n g post! ;-) * we look at attributes of nodes and multiplex ties between them... we filter the views with whatever variables make sense for this analysis * yes, networks can be sliced multiple ways and are... but some patterns seem to repeat... clusters, core/peripheries, brokers, isolates, etc. * yes, a network map has no inherent meaning... it is a talking document to help those interested make sense of what is happening * just like an x-ray or cat-scan are not perfect tools, they are useful... as is SNA facilitated by an experienced person Valdis _____________________________________________________________________ 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.