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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 Oct 5 Lecture.docx

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Matthias Koenig

SOC355Y1 : Tuesday October 5, 2010 Last week you learned: • Theories of the middle-range are neither too abstract nor too specific, they’re just right. • A powerful theory of the middle range can be used to generate testable hypotheses about lots of different settings and topics • Network theories care more about relations, networks and contexts than attributes, groups, or dyads. • With a few simple instructions, you can make your very own network theory! Today’s Outline • The Development of Social Network Analysis • Types of Social Networks • Whole vs. Ego • Directed vs. Undirected • Binary vs. Valued • One Mode vs. Two-Mode The Development of Social Network Analysis - Scott reading: treatment of history - Freeman reading- prior to 1950s existed: o “Structural intuitions”: background idea saying relations are fundamental – in the work of every theorist (according to Freeman) Ex: Simmel o “New methods developing pertaining to analysis” – Moreno: studied social networks and developed sociograms (graphs) – developed methods for how to analyze, but Moreno was not making a broad case but rather a way to study classroom dynamics - = Abstract theory, specific little methods, nothing bridging the gap = we need Middle Theory - Freeman: essential question “How do we get from a group of people with structural intuitions and some neat methods to group of social scientists and natural scientists applying intuitions systematically to different fields of study and seeing themselves as unified field of thought? In his book, Freeman provides an idiographic account of how that happened! - Idiographic account means an explanation which is meant to explain one particular case of something, because it will explain one thing, it will have a lot of rich detail specific to that case! In this account we talk about details of the specific case. Ex: A personal account - Nomothetic account or explanation is the opposite which is supposed to describe a class of things “how do academic fields develop?” Ex: As laws become more complex, as society becomes more litigious, people demand more lawyers, more demand = higher wage = more attractive for people as a career - Freeman provides idiographic account of how network analysis developed as a field - Freeman is himself a network analysis, very important network analysis… - Freemans account will focus on “networks” - Developing a network theory of something – one way is to take a key term and define it in network terms (ex: community, define in network way rather than geographic way) - Freeman applies this theory developed before, he takes the idea of a field and defines it in a network way – o Example: An “invisible college” is a concept existing in study of academic fields in which clusters of scholars exist addressing research with other, taking one another’s findings and editing, that exist in conversation with one another  It is a network of scholars  In conversation with one another and other scholars - Invisible college of network analysis – study networks. The majority are not sociologists, the plurality are sociologists – communications people, mathematicians, doctors, policy makers, public health, government, military, statistics etc. – Each scholar network analysis is in conversation not only with network analysis’s but other people in the fields - If you have all these people interested in social network analysis you can take two paths: o 1. Make own fields, separate from other disciplines- Ex: Criminology has done this – all made their own studies: Celtic studies for example o 2. Leave everyone in home field, field not started on, and get them involved in network analysis without pulling them out of their disciplines and this is the root that people trying to bring network analysis forward took – Network analysts believe that relations matter!! If you were to pull people out of home fields it would mean people would not read and collaborate with people in original disciplines. As a network analysis, they would lose connections and relations (relations are very important to network analysts!), if you leave relations in place people will bring concepts from other fields forward and apply to each area of study!  Ex: how would a sociologists take concepts from epidemiologists to learn how rumours are spread…  Biologists know a lot about competition, basics of evolution, we can take as network analysts what biologists know and apply to organizations – possible again because connections across fields! – What you do here is you take the same form, with different contents in it, and ask what can you learn with one content and then applied to another content…  Early network analysts wanted to leave people in fields, build connections with other network analysts in different departments while leaving them there Eight things that network analysts did that were important: 1. MOVEMENTS OF PEOPLE- people moved around - Harrison White (@ Harvard) 1950s – interested in network analysis, lots of graduate students who all graduated and moved to different places because of their jobs. But as they were all together in graduate schools, they continued to talk together= form bridges between different universities (conversation). Many graduates came to Toronto. - Ex: Silicon Valley 2. DEVELOPMENT OF COMPUTER PROGRAMS- allowed the use of social network data via computers - Some people wrote their own software - People in the field had standardized ways of doing things mathematically – everyone agrees on how to measure something such as centrality for example – allows conversation 3. SMALL CONFERENCES – these conferences were small which was very important! - In these small conferences, people got to know each other! Once they left, they were still in conversation. - Most important conference was at New College, UofT 4. INSNA- “International network for social network analysts” – founded at UofT by Barry Wellman - ASA: American sociological association - Not a network association because it was meant to be more fluid than a association, a network is a group of people interacting together, no head or president necessary for a network, Wellman called himself the coordinator, thus INSNA created a forum where people could associate 5. JOURNALS- development of own journals (like a transcript of conversation, write out thoughts about other research) Network analysts now have 3 journals 1. Social Networks: official journal of INSNA-very technical and methodological 2. Connections- published by INSNA, originally newsletter for INSNA, shifted to publishing short tiny pieces on what is relevant now Ex: after 9/11 published an article on how many people knew people killed in the attacks 3
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