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Mario,
I am very much looking forward to reading and learning from this book. I
note, however, a community-networks focus both in the case in question and
the broader argument that, "the practice and structure of the churches,
colleges, firms, gyms, childcare centers, and schools in which people happen
to participate routinely matter more than their
deliberate 'networking.'" In contrast, the networks that I am studying,
composed of members of winning teams in a major Tokyo ad contest, involve a
different set of dynamics rooted in the need for professional project teams
to bring together individuals with different professional skills and
distinct personalities to spur creativity. In this context, the balance
between team members being similar enough to work together yet different
enough to avoid falling into comfortable ruts is a delicate and much debated
one. Too many, too different prima donnas, and teams fall apart. Everybody
on the same wavelength, and the work is less than stellar. Great creative
directors are those who not only cultivate broad networks that embody a rich
variety of talent but are also able to assemble the right people to produce
outstanding work in relation to particular client needs. Here, too,
conventional notions of networks as embodiments of social capital seem too
thin to do justice to what is going on. But the idea of opportunities
created by everyday routines does not, on the face of it, work much better.

It should be apparent that I am just beginning to think through these
problems. Any thoughts that you or anyone else here might have would be most
welcome.

John

On Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 10:01 PM, Mario Small <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>
> Thanks, Sam.
>
> I haven't done much on these particular processes at the neighborhood
> level. The closest thing is a 2007 paper on how much neighborhood
> conditions can account for racial differences in the number of ties of
> certain types that actors have:
> http://home.uchicago.edu/~mariosmall/documents/Small_SSQ_2007.pdf
>
> I think the second question deals with very interesting issues. Erin
> Jacobs, Rebekah Massengill, and I just published a paper in Social
> Forces on this topic. We conducted interviews with key players in a
> particular subset of organizations in New York City, developed some
> hypotheses about how their actions should affect the relationship
> between neighborhood conditions and organizational networks, and then
> tested these hypotheses based on a representative survey of
> organizations (childcare centers). Click here:
>
> http://home.uchicago.edu/~mariosmall/documents/SmallJacobsMassengill_2008.pdf
>
> I would be very interested in hearing of other works in this area.
>
> Best,
>
> Mario
>
>
>
>
> Sam Friedman wrote:
>
>> Mario, this sounds like a wonderful book.
>> Have you done any work on the related issues of similar processes at the
>> neighborhood level?
>> Or on the causal pathways that shape the organizational or neighborhood
>> structures and processes that shape the network processes?
>> best
>> sam
>>
>>
>> Sam Friedman
>> National Development and Research Institutes
>> 71 West 23d Street, 8th floor
>> New York, NY 10010
>> USA
>> 1 212 845 4467
>> Fax 1 917 438 0894
>> [log in to unmask]
>>
>>  >>> Mario Small <[log in to unmask]> 06/02/09 7:34 PM >>>
>> ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****
>>
>> Dear colleagues,
>>
>> A book that may be of interest was just released. A critique of social
>> capital theory, it examines how the institutional conditions of routine
>> organizations affect network formation.
>>
>>
>> Unanticipated Gains: Origins of Network Inequality in Everyday Life
>> Mario Luis Small, 2009
>> Oxford University Press
>> http://tinyurl.com/laomzd
>>
>>
>>  From the publisher:
>> Social capital theorists have shown that some people do better than
>> others in part because they enjoy larger, more supportive, or otherwise
>> more useful networks. But why do some people have better networks than
>> others? *Unanticipated Gains* argues that the practice and structure of
>> the churches, colleges, firms, gyms, childcare centers, and schools in
>> which people happen to participate routinely matter more than their
>> deliberate "networking."
>>
>> Exploring the experiences of New York City mothers whose children were
>> enrolled in childcare centers, this book examines why a great deal of
>> these mothers, after enrolling their children, dramatically expanded
>> both the size and usefulness of their personal networks. Whether, how,
>> and how much the mother's networks were altered--and how useful these
>> networks were--depended on the apparently trivial, but remarkably
>> consequential, practices and regulations of the centers. The structure
>> of parent-teacher organizations, the frequency of fieldtrips, and the
>> rules regarding drop-off and pick-up times all affected the mothers'
>> networks. Relying on scores of in-depth interviews with mothers,
>> quantitative data on both mothers and centers, and detailed case studies
>> of other routine organizations, Small shows that how much people gain
>> from their connections depends substantially on institutional conditions
>> they often do not control, and through everyday processes they may not
>> even be aware of.
>>
>> Emphasizing not the connections that people make, but the context in
>> which they are made, *Unanticipated Gains* presents a major new
>> perspective on social capital and on the mechanisms producing social
>> inequality.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> _________________________________
>> Mario Luis Small
>> Associate Professor of Sociology and the College
>> University of Chicago
>> 1126 East 59th Street
>> Chicago, IL 60637
>>
>> http://home.uchicago.edu/~mariosmall
>>
>> _____________________________________________________________________
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>
> --
> _________________________________
>
> Mario Luis Small
> Associate Professor of Sociology and the College
> University of Chicago
> 1126 East 59th Street
> Chicago, IL 60637
>
> http://home.uchicago.edu/~mariosmall
>
> _____________________________________________________________________
> SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
> network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
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>



-- 
John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
Tel. +81-45-314-9324
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