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> Eisenberg and Goodall (2004) suggest that is perhaps an 
> unresolvable tension ...

Dear Dan,

The tension remains unresolvable if one does not specify the mechanisms.
Indeed, the mechanisms at the level of society generate uncertainty with
which the individual has to cope. Social network analysis provides us with
statics or at best comparative statics, but not with the specification of
the dynamics.

> Some of their thoughts regarding individuals, society, and 
> communication; can probably translate to network terms:
> Communication as a balance between creativity and constraint
> - Macro perspective sees individuals being molded and 
> controlled by society and institutions. Micro perspective 
> sees individuals as creating society and its social systems.
> - The theory of structuration sees human behavior as an 
> unresolvable tension between creativity and constraint-of 
> creating social reality and being constrained by that construction.
> - Communication is the moment-to-moment working out of the 
> tension between individual creativity and organizational constraint.
> - Consider the simultaneous enabling and constraining aspects 
> of communication (rather than sequential).
> - There can be no meaning without context. People both create 
> contexts through communication and are constrained by those 
> contexts once they are created.

I agree. For example: "how does communication work out the tension between
individual creativity and organizational constraints"? Let's proceed to
specifying the mechanism.

With best wishes,  Loet
> Dan Novak - Alliance Executive, IBM Healthcare and Life Sciences
> 6821 Sawgrass, Fort Worth TX  76132     817-870-3956


Loet Leydesdorff

Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)
Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX  Amsterdam
Tel.: +31-20-525 6598; fax: +31-20-525 3681
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