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Is There Anything That “Social Networks” Do Not Explain?

August 21, 2009 by and tagged , ,

Is  there a point at which a concept is so used and so watered down that it loses its specificity?

Here, what is being discussed is shift in social interaction patterns. Social networks are specific forms of organization not exactly synonymous with social interactions. I know certain concepts sometimes gain traction and fad-like traits (the long tail, black swans, to name only two) but one should be weary of their widespread application to the point that they lose their explanatory power as they become the explanation for everything.

Posted in Networks, Science, Social Interaction | 2 Comments »



2 Responses to “Is There Anything That “Social Networks” Do Not Explain?”

  1.   Jacob Says:

    It seems to me that if the network approach is useful, then its useful, regardless of whether or not it is faddish. To be sure, there are limits to the usefulness of a network approach, but just the same it can be applied to many aspects of social life.

    Reply

    •   SocProf Says:

      @Jacob, That was kinda my point. The job of the analyst is precisely to determine whether the concept applies or not.

      The fact that it might apply “in many situations” (I would agree that it does) does not mean it applies to ALL situations.

      There is more to the network aproach than just “how many individuals is this individual connected to?”.

      Reply

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