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Loet,

    How about this for an alternate suggestion:

    SNA is the analysis of social networks, but there are multiple
definitions of "social network."  Harrison White insists they are a
phenomenological construct as well as a measurement construct.  The
Economist magazine refers to what I would call "on-line collaboration
tool users" as "social networks."   The social networks of Elizabeth
Bott are, in some senses, different than the social networks of Duncan
Watts.  There is certainly commonality, but it strikes me that the
methods for analysis would be different for the different definitions
and that philosophical questions about our subject matter are legitimate.

-Don

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> 
> Dear Emanuela, Ryan, and colleagues, 
> 
> It seems to me that we all agree that SNA is a strong tool for the analysis
> of structure in data, but that the dynamics ("change") require additional
> methodologies. The best one can do with SNA is comparative statics. 
> 
> The jump to a cultural narrative as the only alternative is too quickly made
> for me. The cultural narrative focuses on the cases which happened to occur,
> but not on what might have occurred, i.e., the statistics of the
> development. I suggest that we need a calculus for this and information
> theory provides us with this apparatus:
> 
> The Static and Dynamic Analysis of Network Data Using Information Theory,
> Social Networks 13 (1991) 301-345; at
> http://users.fmg.uva.nl/lleydesdorff/SoNetworks91/SoNetworks91.pdf
> 
> Of course, one also needs substantive theories for the specification of the
> mechanisms. Cultural studies can be very helpful from this perspective. 
> 
> With best wishes, 
> 
> 
> Loet
> 
> ________________________________
> 
> Loet Leydesdorff 
> Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)
> Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam
> Tel.: +31-20- 525 6598; fax: +31-20- 525 3681 
> [log in to unmask] ; http://www.leydesdorff.net/ 
> 
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