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Lecture 9

Lecture 9 Nov 16 Lecture.docx

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Matthias Koenig

Last week you learned: - Defining a key concept in social network terms allows us to see things that would otherwise be invisible - A robust finding or theory is one that is supported consistently when it’s studied many different ways - When reading research articles, focus on what conversation the authors are joining, - Networks may be shrinking or they may not be Today’s Outline - Reading research articles, continued - Describing and relating (two kinds of research) - Explaining relationships (between variables) o How we show causation o Going deeper with causation - Social networks and health - Questions about material for test Continuing with next two steps of reading research proposals (for research proposal- think about what are they doing well and how does this relate to other things…research proposal: think about what is missing from literature in the area of the topic you want to study – you must evaluate the article) – also use these sections to answer test questions- evaluating strengths and weaknesses of an article, analyze, relate… ARTICLES: - Wellman ―The Community Question‖ o More persuasive? – cause to have liberated networks via technology – causal o Both articles in data are descriptive but not data about causation but both implicitly make arguments about change o Networks changed with modernization (Wellman) – maybe they looked different before? o When there is a theory why you expect networks to change – more persuasive – statistics are great but we need theory to make statistics persuasive o Method persuasive- the framing of the article = persuasive- important when writing an article because it tells why an article is important, think about findings in Wellman article (people know other people, some of those people provide support, sometimes people know each other) – Who cares? – if you frame it right – some people know other people but this matters because if everyone knew everyone it would mean this… and if everyone did not know anyone it would mean this… o Ground-breaking for the framing- redefines the way we think about community- the framing! - McPherson o Change in networks based on not data they are analyzing but data previously analyzed (Marsden) – both have descriptive data and make arguments about how networks changed o Fischer showed with data that it may not be the case networks shrunk – which makes more sense to us that networks have not shrunk o Samples- representativeness? Putting the articles into context - - Thinking about social networks – read professors mind- structure of syllabus- why are these articles important in this unit? o Wellman article assigned because:  It is foundational – introduces arguments, overview of how people thought about community. It is also innovative, the fact that defines community in network terms, in a completely new ways.  It defines community in a network way- what could you relate Wellman article to? = example of research using name generators, different from some name generators looked at in methods (it uses multiple name generators)  Also related to- looking at core networks (one of the two most important networks, the other is Knowing Networks) = two topics on which you could have an essay and draw in question – talk about name generators- you could use this article  Also related to- how foci causes density- role of neighbourhoods, neighbourhoods are a focus – Wellman argues that under community saved you had local networks and dense networks which fits with the foci argument. Wellman says they are not all coming from neighbourhood focus but from multiple foci… - more than one focus drawn from – expect a less dense network than the one focused community in community saved  Also related to- Wellman’s other article *ESSAY QUESTION FOR END OF THE EYAR- Wellman on how we do social network analysis- paradigm, how it is different from other types of research- different ways of coming up with network analytic research questions- one way was taking a concept important in sociology and redefine in a network way and look how it effects how we think about that concept = this is a classic example of doing exactly that – taking a concept not defined before in a network way ―community‖ and say alright stop thinking about community as a place- think in network terms – network of people who do such things – new way of thinking about things- redefines the field- once Wellman defined the field that way it became a common definition- a lot of similar research – ex. Marsden, McPherson article and anything in network analysis and community  Wellman came up with community idea! – example of one of the ways we talk about doing research - *Throughout course you will see different ways of looking at networks and examples of each one- this uses this method about thinking about networks… etc. redefining concept in a network way etc. testing an hold theory in network way (Smith- took a network kind of theory but never explicitly network defined- so Smith did that) o Las weeks articles- both talk about change in network structure, even though arguments are explanatory the data is descriptive- talk about how something looks like in one point of time, not relating multiple things - Point: important to use same method of thinking for other articles Readings for this week: - These articles are explanatory, try to make arguments about how two variables relate to one another, and try to make arguments about how two variables are causally related Christakis- argue that being widowed increases rate of death (causal linkage) Cohen- argue that ha
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