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Georg-Simmel-Zentrum für Metropolenforschung


Im Rahmen des Hartmut-Häußermann-Symposiums am 11.April 2019 laden wir herzlich zur Hartmut-Häußermann-Lecture 2019 ein.

Beginn: 14h30 Senatssaal der Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

Der Vortrag und die Diskussion finden auf Englisch statt.


From Networks as Structure to Networks in Practice

An Empirically-Based Critique

Mario L. Small


Network analysis has exploded.  A set of ideas once pursued by small circles of researchers in anthropology, sociology, and psychology has now become a major perspective across the social sciences, wherein researchers have used increasingly large datasets to understand progressively more complex aspects of social structure.  But social networks do not occur in a vaccum.  They are formed, maintained, and mobilized in schools, offices, churches, and other everyday organizations that, though often not formalized in studies of network structure, matter substantially to how netowrks operate in practice.  Based on Small’s Unanticipated Gains (Oxford, 2019), Someone To Talk To (Oxford, 2017), and subsequent research, this lecture will examine how the organizational embeddedness of social networks and the institutional mediation of social ties can shape how people form, maintain, and use their networks to meet their needs.  The discussion—based on qualitative and quantitative research in childcare centers, universities, high-poverty neighborhoods, and other contexts—will examine the implications for social networks in general and for the support networks of the urban poor in particular.


Mario L. Small, Ph.D., Grafstein Family Professor at Harvard University, is the author of award-winning books and articles on social networks, urban poverty, social inequality, and social science methods.  The only two-time recipient of the C. Wright Mills Best Book Award, Small is the author of Villa Victoria: The transformation of social capital in a Boston barrio and Unanticipated Gains: Origins of network inequality in everyday life.  His latest book, Someone To Talk To, was recently released by Oxford University Press.  A study of how people decide whom to approach when seeking support, the book is an inquiry into human nature, a critique of network analysis, and a discourse on the role of qualitative research in the big-data era.


Weitere Informationen zum Hartmut-Häußermann-Symposium finden sie hier.