Network Theories of Social Structure Room TBA Wed. 9:00-11:50
SS241B: 69621 Douglas R. White, Lilyan A. Brudner
UCI fall 1996 'Netsyl96.htm' Off:SST 743 714-824-5893 drwhite [at ] uci [dot] edu
Program in Social Networks Home:(619)452-9957 firstname.lastname@example.org
This page was accessed: 104
times up to Nov 23, 1996.
Accessed: times after Nov 23, 1996.
Term paper: research proposal or project with one or more independent
or dependent variables relating to network concepts.
Prologue: What is NETWORK THEORY?
Network theories of social structure are not concerned only with
quantitative studies of social networks, which are merely one method
and one possible application, but with the problems of theory and
explanation in the social sciences in terms of including linkage and
context effects. Hence the domain of this seminar is the formulation
of theory in social observation studies in the social sciences,
including those of historical and contemporary sociology,
ethnography, social, intellectual and political history, 'social
network studies' proper (which tend to be concerned with small group
behavior and cognition), empirical economics and markets,
organizations, and politics, world-systems and civilizations, which
are often considered as networks. Among other components of theory,
the network component can be identified as concerned with (1)
linkages amongst actors or events, (2) the representation and
conceptualization of linkages and structures of linkages of diverse
sorts, (3) the problem of social embedding, that is, how sets or
structures of linkages form a context for action or events to unfold,
(4) context effects, or more generally, the identification of
structural or configurational patterns that may themselves have
effects or place constraints on other occurrences.
While the literature examined in this seminar deals with one or more
of these problems, two generic types of theory come into play. The
first is substantive theory developed to
deal with the understanding or explanation of particular phenomena
under study, which are of course quite varied. The second is
foundational or formal theory (construction of
concepts) that deals with how we define our concepts. Network
theory per se is formal theory, but formal network theory has many
substantive theoretical applications. Social networks as a research
discipline is held together by its interdisciplinarity. First, there
are many problems across different disciplines that may benefit from
the use of similar formal concepts to understand their 'network'
(linkage and context) component, although substantive interpretations
will vary as to the role played by a given formal concept in
differing phenemena. Second, to the extent that similarly defined
concepts are mobilized in 'puzzle solving' in different disciplines
and problem areas, we can pose comparative questions not just between
different cases of the same phenomenon but between different
phenomena, where we can ask whether or how some of the same types of
processes may be operative.
Formal network theory, then, -- an open-ended set of concepts which
today feature multiple types of centrality, of position, of strength
of ties, of hierarchical embedding, of duality, of cohesion (of
circuit blocks, groups and cliques), and of the converses of cohesion
in segmentation, et cetera -- is non-predictive theory, aimed instead
(on this point see Suppes or Stigmüller) at developing and defining
network and structural concepts. Such theory provides, subsequent to
formal conceptualization, a basis for comparison and/or insight
and/or measurement, although many of the uses of network comparisons
are qualitative rather than necessarily quantitative. Such concepts
(and quantitative implementations which are directly aimed at
prediction, such as network autocorrelation, and statistical
decomposition of network and attribute affects, which supplement
scaling and multivariate techniques) become potentially explanatory
once they are employed (with appropriate interpretation) within
substantive theories that aim at empirical explanation. There are
some aspects of formal theory, however, that are explanatory in a
logico-deductive sense, such as showing the logical and necessary
connections between two apparently different aspects of something
which turn out to implicate one another by the logic of how their
respective concepts for these aspects are defined. Thus, tracing the
threefold relation between concepts (formal theory), substantive
theories of phenomena, and the observed or observable phenomena that
are the target of the theorizing turns out to involve a number of
subtleties that involve a close inspection of the logical arguments
involved at each level and in connecting these levels. Connections
between levels often do involve quantification: (1) formal -
substantive linkages can be assessed through measurement concepts,
for example, and (2) substantive theory - empirical evidentiary links
are often assessed by goodness of fit vis-à-vis alternative models.
Case-by-case analysis or analysis of exceptions, however, are among
the valid qualitative approaches. There are also other aspects of formal
theory, however, that lead more directly to substantive theoretical
insights, without the intervention of quantitative techniques.
In the literature examined in this seminar, the specific focus on
theory and explanation is threefold. On the substantive side we
have: how are theoretical problems posed, in what ways are the
'network' or contextual and relational elements conceptualized, what
role do they play in the argument and in the evaluation of evidence,
and how do they fit in terms of the overall logical structure of the
argument and its relation to the evidence? On the formal side: in
What way are network concepts, measures or approaches used or
potentially useful for the problem, and how do they help in empirical
evaluation of the substantive theories? The crucial tertium quid is,
then: how do the formal and the substantive sides relate in terms of
theory, argument, explanation, representational framework, concepts
and measurement? What more general comparative lessons or issues can
we draw? How can a networks framework be more usefully mobilized, if
at all, in the formulation of theory and explanation, how can it be
deployed in terms of methods, and how can this framework help to
evaluate empirical results (theory testing) and to improve social
science theories and explanations across different disciplines,
The strategy for literature review assigns to seminar participants
examples of contemporary formulations of social theory that entail
crucial social network concepts, theory, or arguments, and calls for
students to discuss and evaluate the readings in terms of the foci
above. Some readings use network concepts but not specific network
methods of analysis; some use network theory or methods explicitly;
some are network studies proper by those who identify themselves as
'social networks' researchers.
It is useful to frame three orienting questions to organize the results of our various inquiries:
1) When taking social networks into account at different levels relevant to different disciplinary problems, one of the foremost questions many researchers want to know from the substantive side of social network studies per se is: How are social networks constructed? In the various readings, we might pick out and summarize what different studies show about the effects of the following factors on network formation:
1. tasks and their environment
2. exchange values and opportunities
3. social affinities and beliefs about agency
4. the mutually constructive interaction between behavior, positions
and beliefs about social relations
5. the interplay between informal networks and processes of such as: institutionalization; institutional
change, function, and maintenance; environmental and social constraints on behavior; norms,
enforcement and innovation processes, et cetera.
2) What kinds of emergent for formal properties might networks of
relations have that may be of interest of themselves, or that might
govern 'network effects' needed to theorize or explain some social
process? See: formal theory (construction of
concepts) for a list and explication of some of these properties:
3) What kinds of research questions and/or designs are likely to
be fertile or profitable in incorporating social network concepts
into the theory and data collection?
UCI IAPIF SEMINAR: NETWORK THEORIES OF SOCIAL STRUCTURE
VIEW WEEKLY CLASS SUMMARIES FROM THIS
WEEKLY CLASS SUMMARIES
NOTE:These summaries subject to
Weekly readings are organized to address two types of issues:
1) foundational conceptual issues
. networks, culture, agency
(Emirbayer and Goodwin, reported by Christine Avenarius);
structural cohesion and position (Brym, reported by Ion Motkin)
W3. strong/weak ties (Granovetter,
presented by Ti-Lien, reported by Silvia Casasola);
centrality (Freeman; Freeman, Borgatti,
White; presented by Silvia, reported by Ti-Lien)
. groups (Freeman on Granovetter vs. Winship models);
positional duality such as actor/issue or actor/attribute (Bearman,
reported by Bill Granados) - blockmodeling/str. equivalence;
see: Lorrain and White 1971
flow duality such as family/business (Supple, presented by
Avenarius, reported by Bill);
measuring centrality from mediator
dependency (see: Freeman, "Gatekeeper"; reported by DRW)
W5. student report: measuring centrality (Ti-Lien Hsia and Sylvia Casasola)
student report: Ti-Lien Hsia (friendship and school-age deviance)
W6. student report: Bill Granados (community norms and deviant behavior)
student report: Ion Motkin (strong ties and social exchange)
principles of quasi-experimental research design (DRW)
W7.mediation/betweenness (Bruce Money on corporate purchasing
student report: Sylvia Casasola (Guatemalan elites)
student report: Christine Avenarius (ethnicity, partnerships, innovation, cultural change)
corporate interlock (see: William Roy, reported by Avenarius)
rise of family elites (Padgett, reported by Avenarius)
Padgett data from Wasserman and Faust (Padgett, from Rick Grannis's home page)
W8. disarticulation/betweenness (Padgett on Medici robust action, reported by Avenarius)
cohesion, pgraphs, circuit blocks/structural endogamy, 'social class,' agency
(Brudner & White 1997; reported & summarized by Brudner)
W9. findings of Rick Grannis, AJS submitted article, ethnicity and biconnected blocks
of neighborhood streets (DRW)
community-level network analysis (White 1997), uses of simulation (DRW)
world-economic trade network (Smith and White 1992; DRW)
flow centrality (Freeman, Borgatti and White 1991; DRW)
2) substantive and explanatory issues
1. social movements (e.g., Brym W2; Bearman W4; see: Tilly; see: Gould)
2. business (Supple W4), economic organizations, corporate interlock, innovation and partnerships
(W7: W.Roy; Avenarius),
markets and mediation (W7: B.Money)
3. community and social class (W8: Brudner & White 1997; W9: White 1997)
4. rise of family elites (W6: Padgett) and ruling elites (W7: Casasola)
5. power and the emergence of the modern state (W7: Padgett)
6. world-system as economic network, dynamics of change (W9: Smith and White 1992)
The 1996 UCI seminar explores the use of network theory and analysis
applied to the histories of modernity as approached through social
history, longitudinal ethnography, and historical sociology. Social
networks, with its focus on process, structure and agency, has
a body of methods, measurement concepts, formal and explanatory
theories that relate these concepts to a wide variety of substantive
domains and applications. The theme of this Networks Seminar for
Network Theory and the Analysis of Historical Modernity:
Communities, Social Movements and Elites.
We consider some
of the phases of early modernity in Europe in the 16th century,
including Stephen Toulmin's thesis of Cosmopolis preceding
a 17th C. enlightenment and microhistorical studies of changes
in social agency and property management that set the stage for
new types of urbanism and industrialism. Eric Wolf's Europe
and the People without History provides a framework for assessing
modernity's histories of colonialism and the intensification of
extractive economies with the development of industrialism. Network
theories of elites, social movements and revolutions are also
examined. Current writers such as Bearman, Padget, Gould, Gribaudi,
and Tilly are the main focus of the seminar. Introductory readings
(Berkowitz; Scott) and classic articles on structural equivalence, centrality, and strong/weak ties
establish some of the central concepts of network analysis. Several
exemplary work on networks approaches to social history are also
examined (Brym; Emirbaya and Goodwin). The instructor(s) will help to
explicate the network methodologies used in these studies and in
their own work, referring to the text by Wasserman and Faust, the
applicability of UCInet software for analysis of network data., and
other key sources.
In addition to the readings, students should focus their research
on a project and topic for the seminar that can be treated theoretically,
analytically or empirically by a networks approach. Students should
prepare to present (1) early in the seminar, an oral proposal
for network research on the topic, turned in as a written proposal
by the end of week 3, and (2) an eventual term paper on the topic.
Network thinking about social science problems has transformed
a number of fields of inquiry; most recently, a number of network
approaches have been taken to social history and historical sociology
(see DRW projects for example). Links
to other social network web sites are
found on http://eclectic.ss.uci.edu/~drwhite/netlinks.html.
This is proseminar for both the Social Networks Ph.D. Program
and the Intercampus Academic Program Initiative Fund (IAPIF)
supported by the UC Office of the President. The title of the
intercampus program is Modernity's Histories in Global Context:
Contested Narratives, Models, Processes. Graduate students
participating from any UC campus may apply for travel funding
to the intercampus end-of-quarter fall and winter workshops and
the end-of-year conference where research pursued in linked History
and Social Science seminars at UCI, Davis, UCSD and UCR are presented
- Students at UCI and Riverside are encouraged to apply for
travel funding to participate directly in the IAPIF seminars on
one another's campuses.
- Students from other campuses (including those in participating
History programs at UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz) are encouraged
to participate on-line through web pages, email, and independent
graduate study supervised by a faculty sponsor or advisor at the
home campus. http://eclectic.ss.uci.edu/~drwhite/seminars.html.
- Email suggestions and further bibliography to D.White:
BACKGROUND TEXTS ON MODERNITY'S HISTORIES
- Stephen Toulman, 1990. Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of
Modernity. New York: The Free Press.
- Eric Wolf, 1982. Europe and the People without History.
Berkeley: University of California Press.
TEXTS AND INTRODUCTORY READINGS ON NETWORKS
- Steven D. Berkowitz, 1982. Introduction to Structural
Analysis: The Network Approach to Social Research. Toronto: Butterworth.
- Peter Bearman. 1993. Relations into Rhetorics: local elite
structure in Norfolk, England, 1540-1640. Princeton: University
- Barry Wellman and Steven Berkowitz, 1988. Social Structures:
A Network Approach. Cambridge: University Press. (collection of
- John Scott. 1990. Network Analysis. Newbury Park:
- François Lorrain and Harrison C. White, 1971. "Structural
Equivalence in Social Networks." Journal of Mathematical
Sociology 1: 49-80. (Reprinted in Leinhardt 1977)
- Linton C. Freeman. 1979. "Centrality in Social Networks:
Conceptual Clarification." Social Networks 1: 215-39.
- Linton C. Freeman. 1980. "The Gatekeeper, Pair-Dependency
and Structural Centrality." Quality and Quantity 14: 585-92.
- Mark S. Granovetter, 1973. "The Strength of Weak Ties."
American Journal of Sociology. 78: 1360-1380. Reprinted
(in Leinhardt 1977) <see Friedkin on Granovetter ...>
PASSWORDED DISCUSSION FORUM
MATERIALS ON THE NET
your account name: uciclass
your password: Ask me
- Comparative Social Organization: An agenda for anthropological
research. Thomas Schweizer
- various articles by Padgett on the Florentine network study,
rise of the Medici and family elites and trading families
- Structural Endogamy and the network graphe
de parente. Douglas R White. Mathematique, Informatique et
- Abstract of Phillippe Richard's article on Renchaînenent
d'alliance in M.I.S.H.
- Ambilateral Sidedness among the Sinhalese:
Marriage Networks and Property Flows in Pul Eliya. Michael Houseman
and Douglas R. White
- PGRAPH Software: matrimonial graphs and kinship network analysis.
Douglas R White.
- PGRAPH Manual. Douglas R. White and Patricia Skyhorse.
REFERENCE TEXT AND PROGRAMS FOR NETWORKS METHODOLOGIES
- Stanley Wasserman and Katherine Faust. 1994. Social Network
Analysis: Methods and Applications. Cambridge University Press.
- Steven Borgatti, Martin Everett, and Linton C. Freeman. 1996.
UCINET Program and Manual. Columbia, S.C. Analytic Technologies.
READINGS ON NETWORKS AND SOCIAL HISTORY
(Review of Bearman, Padgett, Gould).
- Robert Brym 1988. Structural location and ideological divergence:
Jewish Marxist intellectuals in turn-of-the-century Russia, in
Barry Wellman and Steven Berkowitz, Social Structures: A Network
Approach pp. 359-379. Cambridge: University Press.
- Supple, Barry E. 1957. A Business Elite: German-Jewish Financiers
in Nineteenth-Century New York. The Business History Review
- Emirbaya, Mustaf, and Jeff Goodwin. 1994. Network Analysis, Culture,
and the Problem of Agency. American Journal of Sociology. 99:1411-54
READINGS BY AUTHOR: Peter Bearman
- 1993. Relations into Rhetorics: local elite structure in Norfolk,
England, 1540-1640. Princeton University Press.
- 1991. Desertion as Localism: Army Unit Solidarity and Group
Norms in the U.S. Civil War. Social Forces 70:321-342.
- 1993 (with Kenneth Everett). The structure of social protest,
1961-1983. Social Networks 15:171-200.
- forthcoming (3rd author with Kate Stovel and Michael Savage).
Ascription into Achievement: Models of Career Systems at Lloyds
Bank, 1890-1970. American Journal of Sociology 74:
- forthcoming (2nd author with Hyojoung Kim). Who counts in
collective action? The Structure and Dynamics of Movement Participation.
American Sociological Review ??:
READINGS BY AUTHOR: John Padgett
- (and Christopher K. Ansell) 1993. Robust Action and the Rise of the
Medici. American Journal of Sociology 98:1259-1319
- (with Paul McLean)...
- 1994. Marriage and Elite structure in Renaissance Florence,
1282-1500. Paper delivered to the Social Science History Association.
READINGS BY AUTHOR: Lilyan Brudner, Douglas White
- 1997. Brudner and White, Class, Property and Structural Endogamy:
Visualizing Networked Histories. Theory and Society 26:1-48.
- 1997, White. "Structural Endogamy and the network graphe de
parente" (drw) Mathématique, Informatique, et Sciences
Humaines 137. EHESS.
- 1992 White and Paul Jorion. 1992. Representing and Analyzing Kinship:
A Network Approach" Current Anthropology 33:454-462.
- 1996 --- and --- . Kinship Networks and Discrete Structure
Theory: Applications and Implications. Social Networks 18:267-
- In press (drw & Thomas Schweizer) "Kinship, Property and
Stratification in Rural Java: A Network Analysis" in Kinship,
Networks, and Exchange, eds. Thomas Schweizer and drw. Cambridge
- 1992 (2nd author with David Smith). Structure and Dynamics
of the Global Economy: Network Analysis of International Trade
1965-1980. Social Forces 70:857-894.
READINGS BY AUTHOR: Maurizio Gribaudi and Italian micro-history
- 1995. Les discontinuités du social. Un modèle
configurationnel, in Bernard Lepetit, ed., Les Formes de l'exerience:
Une autre histoire sociale. Paris: Albin Michel.
- 1996. Échelle, pertinence, configuration, in Jacques
Revel, ed., Jeux d'échelles: La micro-analyse à
l'experience pp.113-140. Paris: EHESS.
- Ms. Exercises methodologiques sur le réseau.
- Giovanni Levi. 1988. Inheriting Power: The Story of an
Exorcist. Trans. Lydia Cochrane. University of Chicago Press.
READINGS BY AUTHOR: Charles Tilly
- 1988. Misreading, then rereading, nineteenth-century social
change, in Barry Wellman and Steven Berkowitz, Social Structures:
A Network Approach pp. 332-357. Cambridge: University Press.
- 1984. Big Structures, Large Processes, Huge Comparisons.
New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
READINGS BY AUTHOR: Roger V. Gould
- 199? Whiskey Rebellion
- 1995. Insurgent Identities: Class, community and protest in
Paris from 1848 to the Commune. Chicago: University Press.
- Peter V. Marsden and Nan Lin (eds.), 1982. Social Structure
and Network Analysis. Sage.
- Ronald S. Burt, 1983. Corporate Profits and Cooptation:
Networks of Market Constraints and Directorate Ties in the American
Economy. New York: Academic Press.
- Fredrik Barth 1981 "Models of Social Organization,"
etc. pps. 30-104 in Process and Form in Social Life Vol
- Douglas White 1983 (with Karl Reitz). Graph and Semigroup
Homomorphisms. Social Networks 5:193-234.
- 1989 (2nd author with Karl Reitz). Rethinking the Role Concept:
Homomorphisms on Social Networks, in L.C.Freeman, D.R. White,
A.K.Romney, eds., Research Methods in Social Network Analysis
- 1991 "World-System and Regional Linkages as Causally
Implicated in Local Level Conflicts at the Ethnographic Horizon"
Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie 115:111-37.
- 1991 (3rd author, with L.C.Freeman, S.Borgatti). Centrality
in Valued Graphs: A measure of betweenness based on network flow.
Social Networks 13:141-154.
- Charles Orser, Jr. 1996. A Historical Archaeology of the
Modern World. New York: Plenum Press.
- Margaret Somers 1994. The narrative constitution of identity:
A relational and network approach, Theory and Society 23:605-650.
- forthcoming, Property, law and the public sphere in the formation
of modern citizenship rights, in John Brewer, ed., Early Modern
Conceptions of Property. Berkeley: University of California
- Andrew Abbott 1990 Conceptions of time and events in social
science methods: Causal and narrative approaches. Historical
Methods 23: 140-140.
- Peter Abell 1987. The Syntax of Social Life. Oxford:
- Karen Barkey (Sociology, Columbia). 1994. Bandits and Bureaucrats:
The Ottoman route to state centralization. Ithaca: Cornell
University Press. Best book category in social science history.
- Timothy Brook (University of Toronto) 1992. Quelling the
people: the military suppression of the Beijing democracy movement.
New York: Oxford University Press.
- Bensa, Alban 1996. De la micro-histoire vers une anthropologie
critique, in Jacques Revel, ed., Jeux d'échelles: La
micro-analyse à l'experience pp. 113-140. Paris: EHESS.
- 1982 (with Jean-Claude Rivierre). Les chemins de l'alliance:
l'organisation sociale et ses representations en Nouvelle-Caledonie.
Future Seminar Topics: Social networks has a body of methods, well conceptualized measures, and theories that relate these concepts to a wide variety of substantive domains, explanations, and applications. Beyond the substantive field, it also embodies ways of thinking about social science problems that have transformed a number of fields of inquiry: evolutionary theory and cross-species comparisons, field theories of culture and social roles, primary group theory, economic transaction and exchange theory, world-system and stratification theory, theories of interaction, diffusion, and communication. Each year in this seminar the subset of these and other theories that are chosen will change, as relevant to the interests of the students in the seminar, and our changing configuration of links to other disciplines.