The New York School of Relational Sociology

April 18, 2010

One of the issues that this blog will explore is the use of relational and network ideas in both theorizing and doing public diplomacy as result varieties of network thinking is something that I’m going to be coming back to over and over again.

Network analysis is very often thought of as research method but in my view this is too narrow.  Relations (and the networks that they produce when put together) are the building blocks of the social world.  Networks are about the ontology and theory of the social world not just an empirical tool.  In thinking about this I’ve been influenced by work of people such as Mustafa Emirbayer, Harrison White and Charles Tilly.  What I hadn’t realized until now was they were all part of a conversation going on in the New York region during the 1990s.  Ann Mische of Rutgers has posted a very interesting draft chapter which goes through these developments here. One of the key developments that she discusses is the effort to link networks with concepts of conversation and language. I’d been beginning to see the similiarities in some of the people that she discusses but I hadn’t spotted the physical collocation. There are lots of really interesting references that I hadn’t seen before.

H/T Orgtheory.Net


One comment

  1. […] third connection that occurred to me in reading the paper  is  with New York School of relational sociology and  the emphasis on categorization as an aspect of identity.  People consider themselves as […]

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