Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-mrcq8 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-28T08:51:28.228Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

10 - Positions and Roles

from Part II - Seeing Structure

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 September 2023

Craig M. Rawlings
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
Jeffrey A. Smith
Affiliation:
Nova Scotia Health Authority
James Moody
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
Daniel A. McFarland
Affiliation:
Stanford University, California
Get access

Summary

Whereas previous chapters have focused on networks as conduits through which important resources and influences flow, this chapter provides a more in-depth account of the positional approach to networks. In doing so, we move away from conceptualizing social structures as more or less cohesive and integrated groups, cliques, communities, etc., toward a view of social structures as comprised of role structures. To use the baseball analogy, in moving toward a more positional view of networks, we shift from seeing teams as interacting individual players with relations with one another to seeing players as enacting the game through an interrelated set of positions on the field that come with role expectations. Thus, as depicted in our view of social structure in Figure 2.3, we begin to move upward and to the right – that is, toward higher levels of structure and greater levels of conceptual abstraction. Doing so requires a different set of methods, which we introduce in this chapter.

Type
Chapter
Information
Network Analysis
Integrating Social Network Theory, Method, and Application with R
, pp. 216 - 245
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Suggested Further Reading

Bearman, Peter. 1997. “Generalized Exchange.” American Journal of Sociology 102: 1383–415. (An exemplar use of blockmodeling to identify positions in a kinship exchange structure, demonstrating that systemic social action occurs even when actors are unaware of the reasons for their actions.)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Doreian, Patrick, Batagelj, Vladimir, and Ferligoj, Anuska. 2004. Generalized Blockmodeling. New York: Cambridge University Press. (Provides a thorough overview of blockmodeling and role analysis starting with the conventional notions of equivalence outlined in this chapter, but then extends to new equivalency frameworks based on different types of flows across positions.)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Leifer, Eric M. 1988. “Interaction Preludes to Role Setting: Exploratory Local Action.” American Sociological Review 53: 865–78. (Presents an elegant theory of ambiguity that provides insights into how indeterminant action creates the conditions necessary for role exchange in settings where roles are not prescribed.)Google Scholar
Pattison, Philippa. 1993. Algebraic Models for Social Networks. New York: Cambridge University Press. (An exceptional text on using formal models for role relations for both complete and incomplete networks; an approach that holds true promise for identifying relational implications and systems-level regularities across settings.)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
White, Harrison C., Boorman, Scott A., and Breiger, Ronald L.. 1976. “Social Structure from Multiple Networks. I. Blockmodels of Roles and Positions.” American Journal of Sociology 81(4): 730–80. (Foundational work on using network methods to identify informal role systems.)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×