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Sunbelt attendees interested in ecological models, organizations, culture, and networks should consider signing up for the below workshop on the BlauNet package for R. The current V2.0.1 is now available on CRAN ( and includes a graphical user interface, plotting functionality, and a variety of analytic tools for relating social networks to ecological models.

-Matt Brashears

BlauNet: An R package to Construct Blau Spaces and Analyze the "Blau Statuses" of Social Entities and Individuals in Conjunction with Their Networks

Session Time: Tuesday April 5th, 3:00pm-6:00pm
Workshop Length: 1 session (3 hours)
Attendance Limit: 25
Instructors: Cheng Wang (University of Notre Dame, Department of Sociology), [log in to unmask]

In this workshop we introduce the R package BlauNet, an integrated set of tools to calculate and analyze Blau spaces (i.e., a k-dimensional space where salient sociodemographic variables comprise the dimensions; McPherson 1983, 2004) and the statuses of social entities and individuals located in these spaces. BlauNet has the capability to identify possible salient dimensions; construct a Blau space; plot niches, calculate and graph ecological carrying capacity, membership rate, and intensity of exploitation for social entities; calculate and analyze a variety of "Blau statuses" describe individual positions in a competitive ecology and relating these to concrete network data; and generating Blau bubbles for individuals, allowing researchers to capture interpersonal influences in the absence of network data, or at tie strengths below what is captured in most network data. We will illustrate key features of BlauNet with example datasets. BlauNet has a graphical user interface and is available for Windows, OSX, and Linux operating systems. It can be downloaded from CRAN for free. Researchers interested in voluntary organizations, cultural competition, ecological models, and the intersection of social networks with other levels of analysis will find this software useful.

Authors of BlauNet:

Cheng Wang,* Department of Sociology, University of Notre Dame;
Michael Genkin,* School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University; George Berry, Department of Sociology, Cornell University;
Liyuan Chen, Department of Sociology, Cornell University;
Matthew Brashears, Department of Sociology, University of South Carolina
* Both authors contributed equally to this work.

Rough agenda:

Topic 1 - General introduction of BlauNet, approximately 15 minutes;
Topic 2 - Installation of BlauNet, approximately 15 minutes;
Topic 3 - Interface of BlauNet, approximately 10 minutes;
Topic 4 - Major features of BlauNet, approximately 120 minutes (rest break included); Topic 5 - Minor features of BlauNet, approximately 20 minutes.

Workshop materials:

Handouts will be provided. Registrants will be given electronic access to materials and installations instructions ahead of their arrival.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops for reproducing BlauNet features.


McPherson M (1983). "Ecology of Affiliation." American Sociological Review, 48(4), 519-532.

McPherson M, Ranger-Moore J (1991). "Evolution on a Dancing Landscape: Organizations and Networks in Dynamic Blau Space." Social Forces, 70(1), 19-42.

McPherson M (2004). "A Blau Space Primer: Prolegomenon to an Ecology of Affiliation." Industrial and Corporate Change, 13(1), 263-280.

Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
University of South Carolina

Sloan College Rm. 220
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