*****  To join INSNA, visit  *****

​​Dear Socnetters,

Consider submitting your work to the session on ‘Socio-​material network
analysis: Relating Social Structure, Practices and Physical Contexts' at
the conference “Networks in the Global World”, St. Petersburg, July 4-6,

The session was a delight back in 2016 and its scope is more broad than it
may seem. If your work relates social networks to materiality, physical
space, or physical objects in any way, whether empirically, conceptually,
or methodologically, don't hesitate to submit your abstract here:  and choose ‘Socio-material network analysis’
in the list of sessions.

Note that the conference's extended abstract submission deadline has been
prolonged till January 29.

*Socio-​material network analysis: Relating Social Structure, Practices and
Physical Contexts*

Social practices and encounters are always spatially patterned and subject
to the powerful influence of the material contexts they are embedded in
(Urry 1995). This involves multiple nonlinear effects as materiality both
gives opportunities to, and puts constraints on, human activity. Things and
physical spaces can constitute stimulating working environments, provide
platforms for debates and cooperations, promote mutual learning of people,
and provide cohesion of groups and organizations. At the same time, they
can turn into objects of envy and competition and impact the (re)production
of material and symbolic barriers between people and groups. Different
objects are associated with different meanings, provoke various emotional
responses and have different potential to generate motivation, trigger
communication, and maintain identity and sociality. Network analysis can be
useful to conceptualize how structures of physical contexts and social
structures constitute each other. This session welcomes network-theoretical
elaborations on the complex, dynamic processes in which human relations
shape and are shaped by material contexts.

In the framework of the session we also propose to consider the methods of
tracing cross-level links between individuals and material objects /
spaces, as well as within-level relations between material objects and/or
spaces themselves. One of the possible issues to discuss is the potential
and limitations of sociological ethnography (e.g. qualitative observations
and photo-elicitations) and interviews. Another issue is related to how
qualitative methods can be effectively combined with quantitative ones,
such as sociometric surveys. Finally, we suggest reflection on how the
empirical data collected with mixed methods can be further subjected to
formal analysis - jointly approaching material and social dimensions with
such network analysis techniques as bipartite and multi-level network
analysis, and open discussion of the methodological challenges in such
complex research designs.

See conference general call for papers here: 

Note that the organizers will cover accommodation​ ​of​ ​MA​ ​and​ ​PhD​
​students​ who submitted the best abstracts.

Best wishes,
session chair
Nikita Basov.

SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers ( To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.