Since its inception, network analysis has mostly ignored discussion of the “warm” interpretive dynamics of social life in favor of “cold” geometric form. Culture has consequently been predominantly understood as epiphenomenal of social structure.
Recent computational advances afford a reintroduction of culture into network analysis. How can meaning and cultural processes inform networks and change the way we conceptualize them? Do we need to start over from basic assumptions of what an interaction is, what a relationship constitutes, and what identities exist? Does it require the end of network analysis and its reconstitution in a new form, or do we merely augment and adapt the methods, data, and theories already in possession?
Various themes readily apply, such as quantitative analysis of interaction, text, and talk; conceptions of interactional fields; study of network dynamics; social theory of communicative events and their influence on relational constructs and expectations; qualitative study of relationship change and the role of actor intentions; and cultural conceptions of membership, roles, norms, and types of ties.
John Levi Martin
Mario Luis Small