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These are all very interesting and relevant examples.

I would suggest to call these - 'heterogeneous networks' and then to try
to theorise what are the specific attributes for dogs, babies, and their
owners / parents (humans). Theoretical clarity will help a lot to build
bridges across 'camps' of believers whether all these actors are social
or not social, and whether their network ties are social.

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.

I have tried to make a contribution to this line of argumentation in my
book on 'business networks: strategy and structure', but Loet's
suggestion to look at actor-network theory as a starting point (and
perhaps to embrace some of their conceptual apparatus) is very relevant.

Emanuela Todeva

-----Original Message-----
From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Edward Vielmetti
Sent: 18 April 2008 04:35
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: German shepherd and social networks

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From a practical point of view, both dogs and babies create attachments
which are clearly parts of social networks.

I'm surprised that no one else has noted that the dog-networks have a
lot more weak ties, the people who you know because you walk dogs at the
same time, but only know in the dog-world.  Networks that include babies
are more notable for their strong ties, to the point where you don't get
to know anyone else but the newborn for the span of several months.

A proper analysis would also differentiate cat-people, who don't
generally socialize outdoors with their pets, from dog-people who have
lots more outdoor networking opportunities.  And then you'd have to
point at web based services like Dogster and Catster, and do a
comparative analysis vs. La Leche League.

I'm sure there's a master's degree in here somewhere for someone.

Ed

father of "Luigi", 7, and "Mario", 3, both boys; and "Naomi", 13 or 14,
a cat; and neighbor to a bunch of dogs and their people, generally the
dog-people are more visible neighbors than the cat-people all else being
equal.

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