Article

The Ambivalence of Cultural Homophily: Field Positions, Semantic Similarities, and Social Network Ties in Creative Collectives

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Abstract

This paper utilizes a mixture of qualitative, formal, and statistical socio-semantic network analyses to examine how cultural homophily works when field logic meets practice. On the one hand, because individuals in similar field positions are also imposed with similar cultural orientations, cultural homophily reproduces 'objective' field structure in intersubjective social network ties. On the other hand, fields are operative in practice and to accomplish pragmatic goals individuals who occupy different field positions often join in groups, creatively reinterpret the field-imposed cultural orientations, and produce cultural similarities alternative to the position-specific ones. Drawing on these emergent similarities, the cultural homophily mechanism might stimulate social network ties between members who occupy not the same but different field positions, thus contesting fields. I examine this ambivalent role of cultural homophily in two creative collectives, each embracing members positioned closer to the opposite poles of the field of cultural production. I find different types of cultural similarities to affect different types of social network ties within and between the field positions: Similarity of vocabularies stimulates friendship and collaboration ties within positions, thus reproducing the field, while affiliation with the same cultural structures stimulates collaboration ties between positions, thus contesting the field. The latter effect is visible under statistical analysis of ethnographic data, but easy to oversee in qualitative analysis of texts because informants tend to flag conformity to their positions in their explicit statements. This highlights the importance of mixed socio-semantic network analysis, both sensitive to the local context and capable of unveiling the mechanisms underlying the interplay between the cultural and the social.

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... To substantiate our theoretical argument and test our method, we analyze meaning structures and interpersonal relations in artistic collectives: groups of creatives engaging in collective production and representation of artworks (see also Basov and Brennecke 2017;Basov 2018Basov , 2019. Artistic collectives are a suitable case in point. ...
... Unlike another inductive aggregation approach-topic models (Blei et al. 2003;DiMaggio et al. 2013;)-that puts hundreds of concepts into an arbitrarily (and often poorly informed) selected number of piles without displaying the structure of relations between these concepts and usually implying that all concepts included in a text are associated (i.e., a strong clique is constructed for each text), 4 cooccurrence-based concept association mapping retrieves networks of relations between the concepts that a speaker or writer puts next to each other in a text (whether purposefully or unconsciously), thus expressing an association between the concepts that may be implicit even to the speaker or writer (see Basov 2019). These structures of associations can be compared. ...
... In our experience of such quantitative analysis, when meaning structures are mapped, both field researchers and group members confirm they make sense. But neither researchers nor members are able to point at these meaning structures in the narratives prior to mapping (Bail 2014;Basov 2019). ...
Preprint
This paper explores meaning structures in the social practice of small groups. While social and institutional fields impose meaning structures, they are put to practice (emerge) in the context of specific activities that take place within a field. Collaborating in small groups, field participants form such practical contexts. It enables playing on gaps and overlaps among imposed meaning structures and joint creation of emergent meaning structures that define them as a social group. Difficult to capture, emergent meaning structures are largely disregarded by institutional and field perspectives on meaning structures. As a consequence, the importance of collective practice to meaning structures is underrated.We investigate imposed and emergent meaning structures in artistic collectives. The field of contemporary art does not impose its meaning structure explicitly, so meaning structures that emerge in artistic practice are relatively free to vary across social groups. In particular, we study two St. Petersburg collectives of artists, who intensely interact with each other and engage in joint creative work and exhibitions. We show that these collectives elaborate their own meaning structures within the framework of field-specific meaning structures, blending meanings corresponding to the different fields and field positions occupied by members of the collective.The duality of semantic and social structure is central to the notion of meaning structures. We use word collocations in natural language as semantic structure and interaction ties as social structure in a mixed methods socio-semantic network analysis. In this approach, social networks help to understand semantic networks.
... These exchanges among artists seemed to be motivated in the first instance by the vision of a shared interest (Collins, 2004), for which some personality traits set the background and work towards facilitating that process. In the context of new media artists in Mexico City, findings suggest that the cultural homophily mechanism stimulates ties between individuals who do not necessarily occupy the same position in the network, but, in fact, might belong to contesting fields (Basov, 2020). Very often, the collaboration is with artists from different background disciplines, with a distinct range of skills and expertise. ...
... The interviews show that new media artists are able to create, transfer, and adopt knowledge from the interactions they have with people that belong to their social networks, albeit the fact they might be in contesting fields (Basov, 2020). These knowledge processes are closely interrelated (Phelps et al., 2012) in different ways. ...
... Second, these collaborative processes in the context of new media art are still understudied and both the artistic communities and academia could use the basis of this research to continue investigating collaborative processes, in particular related to cultural homophily mechanisms (e.g. Basov, 2020). These could help in our understanding of the ongoing creation of this particular art world (Becker, 1982) with its knowledge exchanges among artists and also non-artists. ...
Article
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In the context of new media art, the intrinsic interplay of disciplines poses constant learning challenges to the artists, as it requires a continuous acquisition and reconfiguration of knowledge. This article seeks to understand to what extent knowledge processes of creation, transfer and adoption contribute to the creative collaborative outcomes of new media artists, by investigating: i) explicit and tacit knowledge flows of new media artists; ii) strategies for knowledge creation, transfer and adoption; iii) contexts in which these processes are facilitated. Based on qualitative methods, findings indicate that the way in which artists learn and interact is related to their personality; values such as openness, curiosity, respect or trust shape the context for a shared interest in knowledge creation, adoption, and exchange. A holistic approach to knowledge-creating place (‘Ba’) contributes to understanding the fluid contexts in which creative processes occur.
... To substantiate our theoretical argument and test our method, we analyze meaning structures and interpersonal relations in artistic collectives: groups of creatives engaging in collective production and representation of artworks (see also Basov and Brennecke 2017;Basov 2018Basov , 2019. Artistic collectives are a suitable case in point. ...
... Unlike another inductive aggregation approach-topic models (Blei et al. 2003;DiMaggio et al. 2013;)-that puts hundreds of concepts into an arbitrarily (and often poorly informed) selected number of piles without displaying the structure of relations between these concepts and usually implying that all concepts included in a text are associated (i.e., a strong clique is constructed for each text), 4 cooccurrence-based concept association mapping retrieves networks of relations between the concepts that a speaker or writer puts next to each other in a text (whether purposefully or unconsciously), thus expressing an association between the concepts that may be implicit even to the speaker or writer (see Basov 2019). These structures of associations can be compared. ...
... In our experience of such quantitative analysis, when meaning structures are mapped, both field researchers and group members confirm they make sense. But neither researchers nor members are able to point at these meaning structures in the narratives prior to mapping (Bail 2014;Basov 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes a mixed-method sociosemantic network analysis of meaning structures in practice. While social and institutional fields impose meaning structures , to achieve practical goals, field participants gather in groups and locally produce idiocultures of their own. Such idiocultures are difficult to capture structurally; hence, the impact of practice on meaning structures is underrated. To account for this impact, we automatically map local meaning structures-ensembles of semantic associations embedded in specific social groups-to identify the focal elements of these meaning structures, and qualitatively examine contextual usage of such elements. Employing a combination of ethnographic and social network data on two St. Petersburg art collectives, we find the seemingly field-imposed meaning structures to be instantiated differently, depending on group practice. Moreover, we find meaning structures to emerge from group practice and even change the field-wide meaning structures.
... Giving full credit to these important achievements, comprehensive network analysis of social ties in their cultural contexts requires data that are not only in-depth, but also allow for quantitative explanation of the links between networks and contexts. This is crucial, not the least, because the consequences of interplay between cultural patterns and social ties, scattered across time and space, often evade researcher's eyes, which makes formal and statistical analyses essential (de Nooy, 2009;Crossley, 2010;Basov, 2020). Such analyses demand structural data on culture as having an "equal weight" to social network structure (Mohr, 2000). ...
... Even more importantly, a full-scale Verstehende network analysis cannot conclude with manual interpretation of structural data, as it also implies an explanatory search for regularities across the mapped socio-cultural patterns. Since this paper focuses on data collection, we refer interested reader to some of the works where our data on artistic collectives are analyzed seeking insights into the fundamental principles of socio-cultural microdynamics, such as the effects of culture on social ties and vice versa (Basov, 2018(Basov, , 2020. The 2018 work applies statistical network modeling to socio-material networks, while ethnographic materials enable sensible interpretation of the findings. ...
... The 2019 work goes the other way around and utilizes statistical analysis of the formalized expressions by the artists coming from our ethnographic data to show how cultural homophily operates within and across different social positions that 'close reading' of these expressions does not reveal. Analysis of the mechanism of cultural homophily shows that common symbolic culture (joint affiliations with symbolic sign-to-sign associations) stimulates collaboration ties between individuals, even if they occupy dissimilar social positions (Basov, 2020). Collaboration ties, in turn, stimulate joint usage of the same physical objects (especially if individuals' career trajectories are similar), but discourage getting embedded into common material contexts, as individuals divide work tasks and prefer to distinguish from their collaborators (Basov, 2018). ...
Article
What social ties are and how they operate depends on the cultural context constitutive of their meaning. Pursuing an explanatory account for the cultural embeddedness of social ties, we draw on Verstehende sociology and rely on in-depth insight into subjective perceptions developed by social network actors throughout their practice to represent symbolic and material contexts of social ties structurally. We put forward a new mixed data collection and processing approach that ethnographically maps interconnected three-layer socio-cultural networks of individuals, signs, and material objects. Opening cultural contexts to application of formal and statistical techniques, this approach allows for an 'interpretive explanation' of social ties. Illustrating the approach with our own longitudinal study of five European art groups, we discuss the peculiarities of three-layer socio-cultural data collection and processing, the new discoveries enabled, the challenges encountered, the solutions we came up with, and the utility of this approach for conducting 'Verstehende network analysis' in various fields of application.
... Sociology calls this phenomenon homophily and assigns great importance to it in the organisation of communities, social networks, and institutions (McPherson, Smith-Lovin & Cook, 2001;Murase, Jo, Török, Kertész & Kaski, 2019). Homophily is observed based on various characteristics: individuals "flock together" with others of similar age, gender, ethnicity, and status, but they also take into account attitude and value similarity, including cultural world-views and similarities (Basov, 2020;Vaisey & Lizardo, 2010) and political values and attitudes (Boutyline & Willer, 2017;Colleoni, Rozza & Arvidsson, 2014;Huckfeldt & Sprague, 1995;Knoke, 1990). ...
... If the biggest stars are excluded, there is also a significant homophily between actors who operate within the same artistic or cultural field, because they are naturally more familiar with each other's work (Basov, 2020). Interestingly, being a leader of a cultural institution is not related to reputation. ...
... It alters the process in which reputation is accumulated. Our study is explorative in the sense that, in contrast with cultural homophily (Basov, 2020) or field position homophily (Gallotti & Domenico, 2019), political homophily in reputation production has rarely been empirically investigated before. However, it is an important factor in structuring the cultural field empirically as well as theoretically as a case of structural homology between oppositions within the field and the field of power (Bourdieu, 1983). ...
Article
Full-text available
The cultural field is characterised by constant struggles for recognition, because resource allocation depends on the reputation of cultural actors. Using a logistic regression quadratic assignment procedure (LRQAP), we first identify the existence and pattern of political homophily in the distribution of cultural reputation. Then, we use interview data to reveal the potential mechanisms that underlie the association between political homophily and reputation. We construct the reputational network of an exemplary national cultural elite (Hungary) based on peer nominations from survey data. Our analysis shows that cultural actors with leftist political orientation are more likely to recognize the achievement of those actors who belong to the same political camp. This is also the case amongst actors with a rightist political orientation, but the most recognized leftist actors are recognized by the rightist camp as well. Based on our interview data, we argue that political polarisation of the cultural elite contributes to the existence of political homophily through creating institutional and interpersonal cleavages. Cleavages are maintained by the symbolic capital gained from political cluster membership and peer pressure for camp mentality; and reinforced by governmental cultural policy distributing resources based on political loyalty. Our findings highlight the importance of the wider social and political context in the empirical study of cultural reputation.
... Therefore, both status and value homophily have been analyzed recently in social networks in order to evaluate whether these types of homophily phenomenon exists in these types of networks. Moreover, if homophily exists, whether it increases or decreases in digital environments has been studied [29][30][31]. ...
... This behavior of individuals has been studied in social media platforms as well. Social media generally consists of majority and minority groups, where the majority group is considered to have stronger connections with one another in its group and also tends to have higher network communications [4,31]. Compared to the majority group, the minority group not only has fewer members in its group but is also deprived from receiving information quickly [54]. ...
Preprint
In recent years, social media has become a ubiquitous and integral part of social networking. One of the major attentions made by social researchers is the tendency of like-minded people to interact with one another in social groups, a concept which is known as Homophily. The study of homophily can provide eminent insights into the flow of information and behaviors within a society and this has been extremely useful in analyzing the formations of online communities. In this paper, we review and survey the effect of homophily in social networks and summarize the state of art methods that has been proposed in the past years to identify and measure the effect of homophily in multiple types of social networks and we conclude with a critical discussion of open challenges and directions for future research.
... This behaviour of individuals has been studied on social media platforms as well. Social media generally consists of majority and minority groups, where the majority group is considered to have stronger connections with one another in its group and also tends to have higher network communications [7,39]. Compared to the majority group, the minority group not only has fewer members in its group but is also deprived of receiving information quickly [50]. ...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, social media has become a ubiquitous and integral part of social discourse. Homophily is a fundamental topic in network science and can provide insights into the flow of information and behaviours within society. Homophily mainly refers to the tendency of similar-minded people to interact with one another in social groups than with dissimilar-minded people. The study of homophily has been very useful in analyzing the formations of online communities. In this paper, we review and survey the effects of homophily in social networks and summarize the state-of-art methods that have been proposed in the past recent years to identify and measure those effects in multiple types of social networks. We conclude with a critical discussion of open challenges and directions for future research.
... Perbedaan kelas sosial antara sesama aktor politik maupun dengan masyarakat dapat dijembatani dengan homofili. Homofili dalam hal budaya dapat menyatukan individu dari kelas sosial yang berbeda (Basov, 2019). Maka itu, aktor-aktor politik yang sukses menggunakan teknik homofili secara tidak sadar dianggap sebagai bukan aktor politik oleh para pemilihnya. ...
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Empathy and homophily communication in campaigns is important to garner public support in the era of democracy. Loyal community support can be achieved if political actors make empathy and homophile communication appropriately. This study aims to find out how empathy and homophile communication carried out by Gus, a legislative candidate, is able to win votes from a community that is basically apathetic to politics, namely the thoriqoh congregation. The research method used is a qualitative approach, with in-depth interview and observation data collection techniques. The results showed that the communication of empathy and homophilia carried out by Gus, made it seen as part of the Thoriqoh congregation itself thus increasing its credibility. The homophile aspect fulfilled by Gus so that he gets full loyal support from the Thoriqoh congregation is in terms of equality in dressing, religion, speaking, behaving, and in carrying out rituals.
... The former provides a wealth of complex, multifaceted data and contextual understanding whilst the latter renders its patterns, interdependencies, and structures intelligible. The complementarity of ethnography and formal network analysis is supported by subsequent longitudinal studiesof symbolic interactionism using literary criticism records (de Nooy, 2009); migrants' personal networks as they adapt abroad (Lubbers et al., 2010); social influence and discourse similarity in student workgroups (Saint-Charles and Mongeau, 2018); and structure and materiality in artists' collectives (Basov, 2020(Basov, , 2018. ...
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Data collection in social network research has advanced to include online questionnaires, digital metadata mining of internet sites, and the use of remote-sensing technologies. Some scholars however call for more attention to nuanced understandings of ties and contexts in studies of social structure and relationships, evoking practices that characterise the field’s foundational works. This article’s two studies reference these earlier efforts, drawing on ethnography and primary data collection. Both were undertaken in conflict-affected eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and broadly aimed to refine understandings of public authority and governance. Such research strives to inform humanitarian interventions to support social structures and actors which benefit their communities – however unexpected and unconventional. The first study (2016) employed a novel link-tracing design to examine personal support networks entwining purportedly hostile sub-populations, from combatants to unaffiliated civilians. The second (2018−20) focussed on access to essential social services across different governance arrangements, areas dominated by tenuous alliances of domestic or foreign militias and other actors. Leveraging an egocentric network design, it yielded multilevel relational network chain data. Each study was rife with obstacles related to accessing participants, sampling, reliability, and validity. We reflect on this network collection experience, foregrounding the interdependence between trust and data quality brought into stark relief by the setting’s instability and insecurity. This interdependency impacts all social network research, especially when it involves precarious contexts or sensitive topics.
... Higher-placed workers command access to more social and cultural resources that help upward mobility in organizations by exerting a positive cooperative influence on colleagues at and above their own position, but which keep the cumulative advantage to those of higher classes with superior education and financial resources to access these cultural resources (Basov, 2020;Erickson, 1996;Van Hauvelen, 2020). ...
Article
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Organizations have been an important setting in which social capital exchanges (SCEs) occur, but little work has been done to distinguish two predominant species of organizations in the social network literature: voluntary associations and formal work organizations. Addressing this lacuna, this article comparatively examines how the two organizational species differ in (1) how two prominent types of SCEs operate (restricted and generalized exchange), as well as (2) the analytical approaches and methodological tools for studying SCEs (boundary‐specification, sampling, network designs, tie‐recording methods) and their adherent implications for network structure (networking conditions and homophily). This article concludes by identifying methodological and theoretical challenges for studying SCEs in organizations (conceptualizing organizations as units, underappreciating meaning‐making and methodological triangulation, and examining contagion in organizational networks in an age of digitalization) and developing recommendations for overcoming them.
... words) and their meaningful associations in utterances by particular individuals interacting in practical contexts [11,12]. Therefore, structural properties and content of symbolic and social structures should be explained through an analysis of their micro patterns -elementary configurations linking signs, and signs and socially tied individuals -as they occur in concrete verbal expressions and interactions against the backgrounds of broader cultural and social contexts [13,14]. So far, however, there has been a lack of techniques and tools to facilitate the systematic extraction of such patterns from empirical data. ...
Chapter
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The interplay between symbolic and social structures in groups is often analysed at the whole-network level of their semantic and socio-semantic networks, e.g. via comparison of graph distributions, multidimensional scaling, or QAP correlations. Meanwhile, the interplay between the symbolic and the social operates through the usage of signs (e.g. words) and their associations by interacting individuals. Hence, structural properties of the whole network can be explained by analysing specific instances of symbolic and socio-symbolic micro patterns – elementary configurations linking signs, and signs and individuals – occurring in practical contexts. This paper introduces a technique and a customisable pattern retriever tool (an R script) to (1) programme socio-symbolic patterns of theoretical importance, (2) use them as ‘search terms’ to query network data, (3) extract from the data instances of the patterns and text quotes corresponding to them, (4) store and represent these instances and quotes in a form convenient for their subsequent qualitative analysis – to uncover the contextual meanings of the patterns. We illustrate the proposed technique with an analysis of a mixed dataset on the interplay between expert and local symbolic structures in the context of social structures of two local groups engaged in flood risk management in 2019 England.
... The analysis of organizational vocabularies is attracting growing scholarly attention because of their novelty (e.g., Loewenstein 2014;Ocasio et al. 2015Ocasio et al. , 2018Demetry 2017;and Painter et al. 2019) but is not yet integrated in the study of social networks and organizational functioning. However, vocabularies help to develop a better understanding of coordination patterns (Cramton 2001), cultural alignment (Basov 2019), and even friendship formation and persistence (Kovacs and Kleinbaum 2019) among organizational members, thus contributing to theoretical integration for organizational research and practice (Loewenstein et al. 2012). ...
Article
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The mechanisms by which social networks and organizational vocabularies combine jointly to affect communication patterns across organizational boundaries remain largely unexplored. In this paper, we examine the mutually constitutive relation between the network ties through which organizational members communicate with each other and the vocabularies that they use to describe their organization. We suggest that the dynamic structure of social networks and organizational vocabularies is contingent on the formal design of organizational subunits. Within subunit boundaries, members who interact with each other are more likely to develop similar vocabularies over time. Interestingly, between subunits, the more two members share similar organizational vocabularies, the more likely they are to form a tie over time. We find empirical evidence for these arguments in a longitudinal study conducted among the managers of a multiunit organization. Organizational vocabularies, we suggest, may sustain communication patterns across organizational boundaries, thus bridging cultural holes within organizations.
... Another crucial task, which in this Issue is highlighted by the works of Basov (2020) and Karell and Freedman (2020), consists in identifying the fundamental principles that underlie socio-cultural evolution and in specifying concrete socio-semantic patterns that correspond to these principles. Another avenue for further research brought about by these two papers is linking the micro-dynamics of socio-semantic networks to the macro structures of society -such as social fields, classes, and strata. ...
Article
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... different from each other (Yan & Ding, 2012). A future research could apply the n-mode method to the analysis of small group communications: Does discourse similarity "drive" the social networks between actors (Saint-Charles & Mongeau, 2018, see also Karell &Freedman, 2020 andBasov, 2020 in this issue)? ...
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... In a similar vein, Botha et al. (2014) discuss the importance of developing a shared language, perceptions of innovation, and understanding of different world views in order to reduce cultural differences and promote cross-institutional cooperation among participants in innovation programs. However, current papers do not report on empirical evidence related to the integration of different cultural elements, such as discourse and languages, in social network analysis, despite the fact that this investigation can improve our understanding of coordination and cultural alignment across organizations (Basov, 2020). More research studies can be conducted to demonstrate how the incorporation of various cultural elements can contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms that work on the inclusion of innovation programs. ...
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Adopting a socio-semantic perspective, this study aims to verify the relation between social influence and discourse similarity networks in workgroups and explore its modification over time. Data consist of video transcripts of 45 3-h group meetings and weekly sociometric questionnaires. Relation between tie strength, actor centrality within the influence network, and shared elements of discourse between group members are examined over time. Observed correlations support the hypothesis of a relation between social influence and discourse similarity. Changes over time suggest a similarity threshold above which the relation between similarity and influence is reversed.
Chapter
Following the ideas of such writers as Florida, Landry and others on the ‘creative city’ and the ‘creative class’, creativity is now widely acknowledged to be a trigger for innovations and urban development. However, these ideas put the main accent on macro-level analysis, i.e. the economic effects of creativity in cities. The micro-level of creativity—grass-roots interactions of real creative actors, which form the immediate context for ideas generation and active involvement in urban life—has not been given due consideration. The micro-level of creativity, emerging through the every day practices of ‘creative’ people becomes even more valuable in the urban contexts characteristic of the post-Soviet region, where there are minimal policies to support contemporary creativity. Limited governmental support for creative clusters, cultural industries and artistic initiatives draws attention to the various adaptation tactics used by urban creative actors. In this chapter I analyze three artistic communities based in St. Petersburg, Russia, working in the sphere of contemporary art. I show the ways in which artists deal with the challenges characteristic of the field of contemporary art in the city, in particular, the lack of contemporary art education, insufficient number of experts in the sphere of contemporary art, and the scarcity of infrastructure for contemporary artists. Artists are able to partly overcome these challenges by forming independent artistic communities and performing various practices of localization, representation, functional division and communication. In this way they contribute to bottom-up development of the contemporary art sphere in the city. Artistic communities eventually become one of the main social actor groups who form urban ‘cultural capital’—the grounding for contemporary creativity in St. Petersburg—which is not being developed through the city’s local government policies.
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In this study, the theatre industry is conceived of as a field of cultural production, and analysed in the framework of Bourdieu’s field theory and social network analysis (SNA). The theatrical field is formalized as an affiliation network of companies participating in stage co-productions in Italy’s Campania region, over four theatre seasons. Differently from Bourdieu, but similarly to other works in the sociology of culture and the arts, the study focuses on relational and attribute-based dimensions of theatre production, presenting a novel way to combine field theory and SNA. By adopting the positional approach of SNA through Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA), Multiple Factor Analysis (MFA) and blockmodeling for affiliation networks, the study reveals oppositions among companies by reason of their differential partnerships in co-productions, and a combination of hierarchy and segmentation characterizing the network structure of the field. These oppositions also appear in the ‘objective’ social space defined by the attributes of companies and co-productions (positions and position-takings), showing the unequal distribution of symbolic cultural capital among theatre producers and the latter’s inclinations towards different theatrical styles and genres.
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This paper explores the relations between social ties and cultural constructs in small groups. The analysis uses cross-sectional data comprising both social networks within three art groups and semantic networks based on verbal expressions of their members. We examine how positions of actors in the intragroup social networks associate with the properties of cultural constructs they create jointly with other group members accounting for different roles actors play in collective culture constructing. We find that social popularity rather hinders sharing of cultural concepts, while those individuals who socially bridge their groups come to share many concepts with others. Moreover, focusing and, especially, integration of cultural constructs, rather than mere ‘thickness’ of those, accompany intense interactions between the leaders and the followers.
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As cultural objects are of subjective quality, the determinants of their consecration as being of lasting value is a common focus of research. Most typically, scholars look to three constituent features of cultural objects: 1) the characteristics of their creators, 2) the statuses of their sponsoring organizations, and 3) more limitedly, the textual features of the objects themselves. Rather than treating these features as independently assigned, Bourdieu argues they are different manifestations of the same latent positional and dispositional spaces in the field from which new cultural objects emerge. Using a new dataset on the full population of submissions to the Booker Prize for Fiction over nine years (N = 1094), we rely on a suite of characteristics across these three areas of foci to examine the latent positions in the field through which “art” is defined and consecrated. Findings show the consecration process begins with publishers’ nominations, which reflect a relational field of competing positions occupied by different groups under the canopy of the former British Empire. Afterward, juries’ decisions of shortlisters and then winners reveal how consecration emerges through a distancing from England-centered voices, followed by a growing preference for legitimation by the literary establishment, and male over female voices.
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Purpose: This research is aimed at an enquiry into whether it is possible in an analysis of an artistic creative process to use a model, major components (sub-processes) of which include a problem statement, emotional arousal, generating, objectification and evaluating. Methods/Analysis: The research methodological framework includes a communicative approach. It involves comprehension of creative sub-processes using a communication analysis that takes place in a team, members of which are engaged in solving an intellectually demanding task. The evidence-based framework for the paper included the data gathered with a method of a semi-structured interview in time of field research. Their object included four art communities that in an urban environment (e.g. Moscow, Saint Petersburg) had brought together more than thirty artists, working in various genres of the contemporary art. Results: The findings presented in the paper describe the sub-processes of objectification and emotional arousal in an individual and team creative work of artists, as well as understanding a role performed by communication in each process performance. Novelty/Improvements: Firstly, the research novelty lies in the model of the creative process used for the artwork analysis; the model was elaborated in the field of invention. Second, it lies in a description of the relationship between communication and creativity in the artwork of the artists clustered into art communities. Third, it lies in the identified “material” form of objectification in the artistic creative process.
Book
Woven throughout with rich details of everyday life, this original, on-the-ground study of poor neighborhoods challenges much prevailing wisdom about urban poverty, shedding new light on the people, institutions, and culture in these communities. Over the course of nearly a decade, Martín Sánchez-Jankowski immersed himself in life in neighborhoods in New York and Los Angeles to investigate how social change and social preservation transpire among the urban poor. Looking at five community mainstays-the housing project, the small grocery store, the barbershop and the beauty salon, the gang, and the local high school-he discovered how these institutions provide a sense of order, continuity, and stability in places often thought to be chaotic, disorganized, and disheartened. His provocative and ground-breaking study provides new data on urban poverty and also advances a new theory of how poor neighborhoods function, illuminating the creativity and resilience that characterize the lives of those who experience the hardships associated with economic deprivation.
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One of the most powerful aspects of social network data is the fact that they can reproduce social relationships in a formal and comparable way. Relational matrices abstract from the hustle and bustle of everyday interaction, and systematise information in terms of presence or absence of ties expressing them in a directed or undirected, binary or valued form. While the formal approach represents an advantage of social network analysis, as it allows bracketing off the idiosyncratic and subjective content of social structures, the mathematization of the complex nature of social relationships has also been criticised for the lack of engagement with the subjective meaning and context of relationships. Such stream of critique has called for an increase of use of qualitative methods in social network research. The first goal of the paper is to address these critiques by rebalancing the argument and showing how social network analysis has always engaged with both formal and contextual aspects of social structures. The paper reviews some theoretical perspectives that discuss and systematise a mixed method approach, and explores the methodological advantages of using network visualizations together with qualitative interviews in the collection, analysis and interpretation of personal networks. The advantages of adopting a mixed method approach are illustrated over some examples of friendship networks of 23 single male and female people collected in Milan, Italy, in 2005. A classic name generator is used to reconstruct their egonets of friends, and the visualization is adopted as the input for in-depth interviews with specific attention devoted to the meaning of friendship relationships, the kind of resources they offer, the conflicts and constrains they entail, and how they have developed and evolved over time. By comparing information obtained respectively with name generators and in-depth interviews, the paper shows how the mix of data improves and specify the understanding of personal networks.
Book
How do we interact with people in our everyday life? Who are the people we are connected to? What are the consequences of overlapping social circles and how people deal with the potential emerging conflicts? What are the structural and cultural mechanisms that regulate social worlds? Network science is a scientific approach to the study of network dependencies and associations which tries to answer these and many other questions. This book explores the underlying mechanisms that regulate social life as they are produced, reproduced, modified, and abandoned in the spatial and temporal patterns of interactions. The mixed methods approach, that combines formal network analysis with qualitative materials and statistical tools, shows the importance of contextualising structural mechanisms in their social and cultural environment, and allows overcoming the traditional methodological boundaries that shape the field of social sciences.
Article
Social scientists have evidenced a long-standing interest in the cultural construction of ontologies—symbolic systems of categorization and meaning—but have yet to develop a widely recognized method for the empirical analysis of this process. Analyzing textual data from the area of health services research, this article illustrates a general framework that can be employed to isolate the tacit rules used to structure an ontology and identify changes in those rules over time. Focusing on the process of market reform in U.S. healthcare during the last thirty years, this study finds systematic variation in the dimensions used to differentiate discourse on organizational forms such as hospitals, health maintenance organizations, and nursing homes. Discourse in the sector suggests that the symbolic integration of forms along the dimension of accessibility during the heyday of welfare state policies has given way to symbolic integration along clinical and functional dimensions with the rise of neoliberal ideologies. These segregating and blending processes are discussed as a general response to uncertainty and the desire for ontological security among organizational actors.
Article
Richard Biernacki has, through painstaking attempts to replicate the codings of formal analyses of culture, concluded that such efforts to bring rigor into cultural analysis are futile. Coding does intrinsic violence to the nature of the material, and imposes interpretations as opposed to drawing them out in such a way that they can be made subject to critique. Here we argue that Biernacki’s claims as to the intrinsic problems with coding are valid, but they do not necessarily imply that the only form of defensible analysis of cultural materials is a conventional humanistic one. Instead, they may just as well be taken to imply that we need to move further in the direction of formalism. Formal techniques that do not involve imposition of interpretation before the analysis, but rather condense information to facilitate an intersubjectively valid interpretation, do not suffer from the problems identified by Biernacki, and offer a path for a distinctly sociological contribution to cultural analysis. Further, although such techniques simplify their source works, they do so in the way a map simplifies – they make patterns accessible for joint exploration.
Article
Following interactionist theory, this study argues that cultural creation and usage can be examined by conceptualizing cultural forms as originating in a small-group context. Those cultural elements which characterize an interacting group are termed the idioculture of the group. This approach focuses on the content of small-group interaction, and suggests that the meanings of cultural items in a small group must be considered in order to comprehend their continued existence as communication. Five characteristics of cultural items affect which items will become part of a group culture. Cultural forms may be created and continue to be utilized in situations if they are known to members of the interacting group, usable in the course of group interaction, functional in supporting group goals and individual needs, appropriate in supporting the status hierarchy of the group, and triggered by events which occur in group interaction. These elements have impact only through the interpretations of group members of their situations. Support for this approach is drawn from a participant observation study of Little League baseball teams.
Article
Normalization (occurring both before and after norm formation) was shown in 49 high school friendship groups to be a type of conformity; not conformity to established norms, but a response to other group pressures toward uniformity. Normalization pressures and pressures to conform to norms proved empirically distinct but tended to reinforce each other. Under conditions of changing norms, though, these two kinds of pressures can mutually oppose each other, and as a result conformity may take a direction away from, not toward, established norms.
Article
This study conceptualizes artists' careers as transitions through positions within a constantly shifting web of relationships that are without a priori hierarchical demarcations. Network analysis of this shifting web from 1981 to 1992 produces three distinct career paths with differential outcomes in terms of the amount of critical notice received by each artist Those who have had a long history of membership in loosely knit networks receive more critical attention than either artists who have had a long history of membership in tightly knit cliques or those with a history of sporadic connections to the art world. The career ladder is not so much a ladder as it is a sandpile, in which each actor's attempts to reach the top change the shape of the climb.
Book
Originally published as a special double issue of The Journal of Mathematical Sociology in 1984.
Article
This article presents an ecological theory of musical preference. A core idea of the theory is that musical forms depend on people for their existence. The theory argues that people are a resource for types of music; musical forms compete for the time, energy, and preferences of individuals. Musical types carve out niches in different sociodemographic segments of society. According to the theory, the niche pattern develops because musical preferences are transmitted through homophilous social network ties; similar people interact with each other and develop similar musical tastes. The article develops six hypotheses that relate individuals' social positions to their musical preferences. Tests with 1993 General Social Survey data support these hypotheses.
Article
It is proposed that the decision making process is intrinsically formulative in nature; i.e., for the individual the crux of the process is in the development of a frame, a knowledge base, that can be used to make the decision, rather than the evaluation of the alternatives ’per se’. A two stage model of decision making is forwarded. In the first stage the individual develops his frame. This is the critical, formulative, stage and dependent on the socio‐cultural environment. In the second stage the individual makes a decision by evaluating his frame. This stage is mechanical, evaluative, and determined by the frame formulated during the first stage. A consequence of the basic thesis is that the social and cognitive processes can not be decoupled if we are to understand decision making behavior. However, there are few methods currently available that allow the researcher to look at the relationship between the social and the cognitive process.
Article
This paper reflects upon Bourdieu’s concept of cultural fields, Becker’s concept of ‘art worlds’ and the concept of networks as developed in social network analysis. We challenge the distinction that Bourdieu makes between the objective ‘relations’ and ‘positions’ constitutive of ‘social space’ and visible social relationships. In contrast, we maintain that interaction is generative of social spaces and positions and should be integral to any account of them. Becker’s position is better from this perspective, but while Becker refers repeatedly to social networks, he fails to develop the concept or exploit its potential as a means of exploring social structures. Both Becker and Bourdieu have an underdeveloped conception of social connection which weakens their respective conceptions of the space of cultural production. Our proposed remedy is to use social network analysis to derive ‘positions’ and ‘relations’ between ‘positions’, as prioritized by Bourdieu, from data on concrete interactions and relations. This allows ‘world’ analysis to speak to the issues of field analysis without sacrificing its strengths. We illustrate our case by way of an analysis of two UK music scenes from the late 1970s.