The Meaning Structure of Social Networks

Fuhse JA (2009)
Sociological Theory 27(1): 51-73.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
This essay proposes to view networks as sociocultural structures. Following authors from Leopold von Wiese and Norbert Elias to Gary Alan Fine and Harrison White, networks are configurations of social relationships interwoven with meaning. Social relationships as the basic building blocks of networks are conceived of as dynamic structures of reciprocal (but not necessarily symmetric) expectations between alter and ego. Through their transactions, alter and ego construct an idiosyncratic "relationship culture" comprising symbols, narratives, and relational identities. The coupling of social relationships to networks, too, is heavily laden with meaning. The symbolic construction of persons is one instance of this coupling. Another instance is the application of social categories (like race or gender), which both map and structure social networks. The conclusion offers an agenda for research on this "meaning structure of social networks.".
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Fuhse JA. The Meaning Structure of Social Networks. Sociological Theory. 2009;27(1):51-73.
Fuhse, J. A. (2009). The Meaning Structure of Social Networks. Sociological Theory, 27(1), 51-73.
Fuhse, J. A. (2009). The Meaning Structure of Social Networks. Sociological Theory 27, 51-73.
Fuhse, J.A., 2009. The Meaning Structure of Social Networks. Sociological Theory, 27(1), p 51-73.
J.A. Fuhse, “The Meaning Structure of Social Networks”, Sociological Theory, vol. 27, 2009, pp. 51-73.
Fuhse, J.A.: The Meaning Structure of Social Networks. Sociological Theory. 27, 51-73 (2009).
Fuhse, Jan Arendt. “The Meaning Structure of Social Networks”. Sociological Theory 27.1 (2009): 51-73.
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