Tuesday, April 12, 2005

SWT perhaps backs multiple network theory?

I owe a posting yet for last week and having accidentally read some of this week's readings for last week had some extra time to think about them. I see Granovetter's SWT tying in with Wellman and Pratt… Networked individualism made me think about how technology is changing the mobile vs. place-based view of our identities and network. Where we may have been limited in social networks by physical place, with our mobility of cell phones and Internet we can more easily join and leave particular networks, or technically be in one network of place and one virtually at the same time. Does this make us more networked, or less connected when we are networked? And could a societal effect from this be more SWT because we are able to establish more weak networks through more networks with less physical space demands?

On a side note, I also don't buy all the assumptions that the nature of networked worlds could create male- and female-segregated society given cultural elements that may shift how this plays out a bit differently.

2 comments:

Chris said...
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Chris said...

The key difference I see between Granovetter and Wellman is Granovetter's strong-ties nodes share key characteristics with the traditional (Chicago School) notions of community whereas Wellman's concept personal networks doesn't differentiate nearly so clearly, and I think usefully, between strong and weak ties, or, in other words, the traditional community-urban social typology. Mere connectedness between persons doesn't constitute community in the classical sociological sense of that term. There need to be strong ties that bind.