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Dear Socnetters,

While everybody's at it, let me send out a short reminder for my 
organized session at this year's Sunbelt on "Networks, Culture, 
Interaction". See the extended call for abstracts below. And please 
don't forget to send me your abstract in addition to submitting it via 
the online submission system, so that I know that you want to take part 
in this.

My session is related to that organized by John Boy and Justus Uitermark 
on "Relational approaches to social network analysis" (see Justus's 
e-mail this afternoon). You might want to consider submitting papers 
with a wider theoretical stance (Elias, Bourdieu etc.) to that session, 
and papers closer to the work by and around Harrison White, as well 
those dealing with the intersections of networks, culture, and 
interaction to mine.

Best from Berlin,



*Networks, Culture, Interaction*

Relational sociology conceptualizes social networks as interwoven with 
culture and as negotiated and changing in interaction. The session 
gathers presentations that follow this lead and investigate the 
connections of social networks with culture and / or interaction, both 
conceptually and empirically.

Starting with the work of Harrison White, relational sociology has come 
to treat networks not as a-cultural structures, but as patterns of 
relationships that variously build on, and incorporate cultural forms 
(Emirbayer / Goodwin 1994; Fuhse 2009; Pachucki / Breiger 2010; Mische 
2011). In turn, culture is diffused and negotiated in social networks. 
We can examine this interplay in three ways (McLean 2017):

-- Culture affects networks patterns, when these follow 
institutionalized roles, social categories, or models for social 
relationships (e.g. love, friendship, caste, patronage).

-- Networks make for the diffusion and reproduction of cultural forms. 
This results in the stabilization of socio-cultural constellations with 
cultural beliefs and life-styles resting on cohesive network clusters, 
and with cultural differences between these.

-- Networks are themselves infused with meaning, with identities 
connected to each other through narratives, with network positions 
corresponding to social roles, coming with particular communication styles.

More recently, social networks have been dissolved into processes of 
interaction, and reconstructed as patterns in this process (McFarland 
2001; Gibson 2005; Muetzel 2009; Fuhse 2015). Social relationships and 
networks thus consist of regularities in communicative events, 
stabilizing, reproducing, and changing over their sequence. Rather than 
studying networks as clear-cut, stable arrangements of ties, we have to 
observe the sequential and relational ordering of communicative events 
(Butts 2008; Kossinets / Watts 2009; de Nooy 2011). This can entail (a) 
discerning relational micro-dynamics like reciprocity, transitivity, and 
preferential attachment that make for the tendencies to form different 
kinds of network patterns. (b) We can examine the network as the 
distribution of events by ties changing across time periods (e.g. 
Papachristos 2009). (c) The cultural imprint of processes in networks 
and the negotiation of identities and relationships can be studied 
qualitatively, with a focus on signals, vocabularies, communication 
styles, and other linguistic forms (McLean 1998; Mische 2008).

A wide variety of conceptual, methodological and empirical contributions 
is invited for the session. Presentations can focus on the nexus of 
networks and culture, on the interplay of networks and interaction, or 
they can relate to both of these themes. If you’re interested please 
submit abstracts in the Sunbelt online submission system 
( ) *until February 1, 
2018*, indicating “Networks, Culture, Interaction” as the preferred 
session. In addition, please send your abstract directly to 
[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>.

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