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Organized session

Socio-semantic networks


at the 3rd European Conference on Social Networks (EUSN), September 26-29, 2017 in Mainz, Germany.


Deadline: March 31, 2017.


In recent years, research jointly considering semantic and social network data has expanded, and options to relate those have been explored theoretically and methodologically. Advanced analytical methods and the increasing availability of large data sets, in particular social media data, have been mutually reinforcing and catalyzing research into combining semantic and social networks. Prior work has shown that both the structure of social relationships and discourse/meaning sharing contribute to the emergence and spread of knowledge and culture. The innovation resides in the contribution that social network analysis offers for studying the relationships between social structures and the discursive/meaning structures that individuals or communities share.

One trend has been to consider similarities between people’s discourse as a specific form of social ties. The resulting socio-semantic network can then be combined and contrasted with other types of social networks based on friendships, advice, influence and other type of social relationships.  Another trend is to jointly consider social actors, concepts and relations between them as forming multilevel networks. In both trends, discourse and social ties are expected to coevolve as actors share meanings or differ in those while their social ties transform.

In this emerging field, theoretical and methodological questions abound. For example: Which discourses and communities should be analyzed with regard to a particular research context and question(s)? How does the method chosen to assess similarities in discourses/meanings (topic/theme analysis, semantic fields, concepts and lines between them, exact words) impact the results? What are the ways to analyze the coevolution of social and semantic networks? To what extent can social network measures be applied to semantic and socio-semantic networks? How can statistics of those networks be compared? Which socio-semantic network configurations can be used in statistical models (e.g., ERGMs)? What kind of theorizing is triggered by research of socio-semantic networks?

Interested participants are invited to submit theoretical, methodological or empirical papers, contributing new perspectives on the questions how, when, and under what conditions social relationships, content and meaning structures can be connected via network research; or what approaches are suitable to strengthen the understanding of the connections between the structure of social relations and meaning.

Papers should fall into one or several of the following thematic areas:

- Theorizing about relationships between meaning structure, content structure and social structure

- Qualitative and quantitative methods to relate meaning structure and social structure

- Multilevel and multimode socio-semantic networks

- The relationship between semantic similarity and social ties

- Joint semantic network analysis of message content and social network analysis of information channels

- Applying social network analysis techniques to semantic and socio-semantic networks

- Using semantic network data to capture social structures between actors

- Semantic structuring throughout conversations in networks


You are welcome to submit your abstract by March 31, 2017. 


Please limit your abstract to 500 words and indicate the session title ‘Socio-semantic networks’ during the submission process.


See conference website http://www.eusn2017.uni-mainz.de/ for additional information.

Papers presented at this session will be considered for a special issue on ‘Socio-semantic networks’.



Looking forward to your submissions,

The organizers:

Nikita Basov, St. Petersburg State University

Iina Hellsten, University of Amsterdam

Adina Nerghes, VU Amsterdam

Camille Roth, Sciences Po, Paris

Johanne Saint-Charles, University of Quebec at Montreal

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