***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** > > Empirical observations- that they are all actors in a network, because > they are linked together - exacerbates the need for theoretical clarity > of the specific actor attributes and specific relational attributes - > that I would expect to vary in heterogeneous networks. One thing interesting about these networks, and perhaps interesting from a modeling perspective about more networks than we typically acknowledge, is that different people (or dogs) perceive the network differently, and thus the traditional assignment of attributes to nodes hides a lot of subtlety and truth. E.g. a dog fancier will put a mutt and a pedigreed schnauzer into two separate categories in the context of a dog show, but that same person might treat those two animals as equivalent when walking around the neighborhood. If the mutt is part ill-tempered pit bull, you might reasonably classify both them and their owner as "dangerous unwelcome neighbors" independent of species. A not very exhaustive search turned up this reference, indicating that pets are good for social capital. The pet connection: Pets as a conduit for social capital? Lisa Wood, Billie Giles-Corti and Max Bulsara School of Population Health, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia 6009, Australia Available online 3 March 2005. Social Science & Medicine Volume 61, Issue 6, September 2005, Pages 1159-1173 Abstract There is growing interest across a range of disciplines in the relationship between pets and health, with a range of therapeutic, physiological, psychological and psychosocial benefits now documented. While much of the literature has focused on the individual benefits of pet ownership, this study considered the potential health benefits that might accrue to the broader community, as encapsulated in the construct of social capital. A random survey of 339 adult residents from Perth, Western Australia were selected from three suburbs and interviewed by telephone. Pet ownership was found to be positively associated with some forms of social contact and interaction, and with perceptions of neighbourhood friendliness. After adjustment for demographic variables, pet owners scored higher on social capital and civic engagement scales. The results suggest that pet ownership provides potential opportunities for interactions between neighbours and that further research in this area is warranted. Social capital is another potential mechanism by which pets exert an influence on human health. Keywords: Pets; Social capital; Health; Community; Sense of community; Australia _____________________________________________________________________ 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.