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I think Jeffrey Broadbent's observation confirms the need of some
colleagues on this list for theoretical clarity vs. the use of
operationalised definitions.

In response to Loet's comment, I think the substantive discourse is much
broader. For social networks it is not only sociology - but all social
sciences. An example is within media studies - where colleagues talk
about networks of meaning, the use of associations between objects and
the role of associative thinking, that ultimately can be used for
commercial and/or political purposes (as network outcomes). 

I guess, for heterogeneous networks - comprising of social,
technological, environmental or other physical components (for example -
managing water supply systems or energy supply networks) - network
theorising has to bring a lot more disciplines. 

Best wishes
Emanuela Todeva


-----Original Message-----
From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Jeffrey Broadbent
Sent: 16 April 2008 13:20
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: social organization = social networks?

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Wow, it is amazing how, given a set of brilliant minds, a initially
seemingly simple definitional distinction reverberates or fractalizes
into a bewildering forest of contrasting terminological usages with
respondent taking the discussion into a different conceptual frame of
reference.  

Jeffrey Broadbent
Abe Fellow
Visiting Researcher, Faculty of Law, Keio University Associate
Professor, Department of Sociology and Institute of Global Studies
909 Social Science Building
University of Minnesota
267  19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota
USA 55455
Tel. 612-624-1828
Fax. 612- 624-7020
Email: [log in to unmask]
Webpage: http://www.soc.umn.edu/faculty/broadbent.html



-----Original Message-----
From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Loet Leydesdorff
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 6:58 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: social organization = social networks?

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Dear Emanuela, 

Yes, one can distinguish between a formal discourse about "network
analysis"
and a substantive discourse about "social networks." The formal
discourse is shared with physicists and others who discuss powerlaw
distributions, etc.
The substantive discourse is to be informed by sociology.

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/ 

 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 11:59 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Cc: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: RE: social organization = social networks?
> 
> I think the confusion here derives from the fact that people use the 
> concept of 'network' in at least two different ways:
> 
> - as in 'network analysis' - or a tool for representation / analysis /

> mapping of complex systems of interconnected actors (social actors, 
> business actors, technologies... etc.)
> 
> ... and
> 
> - as a real social system of interconnected actors, where the 
> connection could be in the form of 'abstract association' (as in 
> co-location in physical space, or membership status in institutions / 
> firms / business associations), or a full scale of interactions and 
> exchanges, including affections, sharing resources / meaning / mental 
> frames... Etc.
> 
> Actors' attributes and relational attributes are used in both cases - 
> but again the same attributes would mean different things. In the 
> first instance attributes would be 'concepts that are defined to 
> measure', in the second instance they would be 'concepts that are 
> defined to understand and interpret (or frame and label) the 
> complexity of the social system.
> 
> I would discriminate between using concepts from the repertoire of 
> network theorising, and using concepts from the repertoire of network 
> analysis / measurement / mapping.
> 
> Best wishes
> 
> Emanuela Todeva
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
> On Behalf Of Loet Leydesdorff
> Sent: 16 April 2008 10:26
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: social organization = social networks?
> 
> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
> 
> A network, Moses, in my opinion, is only an instantiation of a social 
> system. The network is just nodes + links + attributes which happen to

> be instantiated.
> 
> This is clearest in the case of a network of co-occuring words, like 
> in a semantic map. The semantic map is an instantiation of a 
> repertoire.
> The words used may vary from year to year, while the latent dimensions

> may remain the same.
> 
> Best wishes,
> 
> 
> Loet
>  
> 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Social Networks Discussion Forum
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> > On Behalf Of Moses Boudourides
> > Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 11:03 AM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: social organization = social networks?
> > 
> > *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
> > 
> > Hello,
> > 
> > What Vlado remarks is absolutely right. To say that "social
> network =
> > actors plus relations" is like saying something in the form
> of the old
> 
> > communist formula "socialism = electrification plus soviets" :-) As 
> > both (post-modern) relationalists and (modern) pragmatists
> would say,
> > even the equation "social network = actors plus relations plus 
> > attributes" might be still underdetermined - because "where
> is l'objet
> 
> > petit a?" :-)
> > 
> > Regards,
> > 
> > --Moses
> > 
> > PS. Yes, Loet, a network "implies" construction!
> > 
> > 
> > On Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 11:32 AM, Vladimir Batagelj 
> > <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > > *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
> > >
> > >  <<<-------- Jeffrey Broadbent-------->>>
> > >
> > > > *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
> > >  >
> > >  > A social category (sex, race) is not reducible to social
> > networks.
> > >  > Therefore, social networks do not constitute the
> > entirety of social
> > >  > organization. This is exactly my critique of Blyden
> > Potts' definitional
> > >  > thesis.
> > >
> > >   It depends on the definition of social network - in most of
> > >   social network analysis software (Pajek, Ucinet, NetMiner, ...)
> > >   properties of vertices (sex, race) are considered as a part of
> > >   the network description. The network can also be weighted,
> > >   multirelational, temporal, defined on several sets, ...
> > >   The notion could be extended also to consider k-nary relations,
> > >   k > 2. There are some examples for k=3 (Lazega's leverage
> > relation).
> > >
> > >   Vlado
> > >  --
> > >  Vladimir Batagelj, University of Ljubljana, FMF,
> > Department of Mathematics
> > >   Jadranska 19, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
> http://vlado.fmf.uni-lj.si
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >  
> > 
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_____________________________________________________________________
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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.

_____________________________________________________________________
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.