Ensuring the ‘Social’ in Social Network Analysis

With conferences quickly approaching and having the luxury of presenting two different papers, one during the Leeds annual PhD conference and one in Odense, Denmark my thoughts have been focused on the methods or tools that I and others are using.

Gathering a large amount of targeted data was relatively easy – what to do with it and how to draw out conclusions from it – well that is what my two papers try to engage. As well as the usual attempts of using social network analysis while avoiding both technological and organisational determinism I now have this position whereby I need to avoid slipping into ‘network discourse’ or nodocentricism. If an emergent property is not a node in the network then it exercises no influence according to network theory. However, it is the very ‘white space’ in which the network resides that causes the fluctuations of the relationships between the nodes.

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