My work on social networks and sociocultural complexity operates across the debate between two leading
social science paradigms. Methodological individualism,
on the one hand, which frames the policy agendas in economics and political science,
lays emphasis solely on individual agency - as if there is no society, no history,
The Durkheimian view of social facts goes too far in the opposite direction.
It asserts the efficacy of societal forms through the vehicle of norms.
Overly aggregative, it ignores the dynamics
of relations, as if norms were static functions of social groups.
The approach to social science I call "cultural kinetics" offers a synthesis.
It begins with the materiality of relations, and explores varieties of networks
and networks of networks, starting from concrete
relations, such as cooperation and exchange, among individuals and groups. Emphasizing dynamic processes,
structure is abstracted only after analysis. Commensurate with but not reducible to
methodological individualism, this network approach incorporates
insights from sociology, anthropology and formal models so as to
accomodate the effects of emergent structure as well as actor agency.
I've attached a
guide to pages linked to this site, which
give some of my work, that of network
at UCI, and some of the resources (many open for
student research, including potential fieldwork
sites with databases) that I've put together on networks,
longitudinal fieldsite and network ethnography, and