***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** Why do you feel compelled to include information as part of the definition? Or even "flows" of... something? Much of what is social is, of course, also symbolic, but does it have to be? Try this on for size. Networks are sets of actants/actors whose elements are influenced by one another -- in other words, among whom there are some relationships, where by relationship we mean the ability of some actant to affect/impact some actor -- AND the set of relationships that exist among them. Social Networks occur where at least some of the actants/actors have consciousness (i.e. awareness of existing in an environment) and treat any other actor (e.g. a computer, fictional character, etc) in the set as if it also were a conscious being. Blyden Potts -----Original Message----- From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ryan Lanham Sent: Saturday, January 06, 2007 2:25 PM To: [log in to unmask] Subject: Re: Networks and conformity 1. Network linkages entail bidirectional flows of information--i.e. meaningful data movement, or event-driven responses to information between sets of actors/actants. 2. Networks are partial sets of actants/actors where elements are influenced by information in a way that is remarkable--i.e. symbolic. Influence is action (including development of an ontology) caused by receipt of information (meaningful data.) Natural forces are information iff their source is considered an actant. 3. "Social" networks occur where humans as actors are included in the partial set. _____________________________________________________________________ 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.