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Ryan,

	You have an interesting research project in the history of ideas in
front of you.  I caution you that the wiki entry on Social Network
Analysis is not one that I would recommend.  Part of what you might add
to your research project is the answer to the question "so what?"  Is
there any reason they should have anything in common?  Another question
is: why did cybernetics (and general systems theory and functionalism
and ...) pretty much fade away?  I think you will find that your search
is about metaphysics and that the social world is messier that you would
wish.

-Don

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> 
> Barry Wellman's note to Yang stated the following:
> 
> ...the most important thing to remember is that SNA is
> a perspective -- dare I say a paradigm -- rather than a set of methods,
> quant or qual.
> 
> 
> But the discussion of SNA as paradigm opened by Don Steiny and now
> elaborated by Professor Wellman reminds me of a small collection of (at
> least to me) similar or sometimes overlapping worldviews now underway that
> inhabit related social spaces.  I will try to use only those with existing
> articles in Wiki as a basis of the set so that people can easily explore if
> they wish.  I have been collecting this set and trying to sort out
> differences and similarities of discipline and category.  It is a confusing
> and interesting hobby.
> 
> 1. Social network analysis
> 
> 2. Complex adaptive systems
> 
> 3. Industrial ecology
> 
> 4. Communities of practice
>  
> 5. Organizational learning
> 
> 6. Activity theory   
> 
> 7. Actor-network theory
> 
> 8. Communication theory
> 
> 9. Graph theory
> 
> 10. Group theory
> 
> 11. Biotic communities
> 
> 12. Food webs
> 
> 13. Community ecology
> 
> 14. Ecosystems ecology
> 
> 15. Systems ecology
> 
> 16. Energetics
> 
> 17. Cybernetics
> 
> 18. Sociocybernetics
> 
> 19. Semiotics
> 
> 20. Network theory
> 
> 21. Bounded rationality
> 
> Each has experts, theories, often journals and other trappings of
> "discipline."  One could probably label a dissertation at a top university
> with any 5 sub-elements of this group and "make sense" of it--indeed, even
> achieve acclaim.
> 
> Questions I sometimes ponder:
> 
> 1. What is this a set of?
> 
> 2. What are the elements and how do they differ conceptually?  
> 
> 3. Could one rank order the "rigor" of these 21 or of the many missing
> elements?
> 
> 4. How do these elements change over time, interact, merge, diverge, and
> govern themselves?
> 
> 5. Is the set infinite?  Why or why not?
> 
> 6. Is science a mansion of many houses or is there inherently many sciences?
> 
> 
> 7. How does an idea of importance within one element get noticed in the
> others?  Why?
> 
> 8. What causes the death of an element?  
> 
> 9. What is happening when a graduate student or research ropes together a
> new subset of the elements?  
>   
> 
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