Chris Graziul, Doctoral Student in Sociology presents “Social Venues: A New Approach to Social Constraint” (Time change to 3 pm)
Please join us at 3 pm (please note time change!) in SS 401 to hear Sociology PhD Candidate Chris Graziul present his work, entitled “Social Venues: A New Approach to Social Constraint.”
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, social network analysis and ecological approaches to
social phenomena experienced a kind of renaissance, with new paradigms solidifying their place in each
area of research. Studies of the formal properties of social networks led to the development of a
sophisticated set of theoretical approaches and empiric tools for exploring network structure (Burt 1980).
A population ecology approach to the study of organizations emerged, revitalizing the study of
organizational ecology (Hannan and Freeman 1977; Carroll 1984). I contend that while these
developments were related, issues concerning the scope of research agendas led to little serious work that
joined these approaches in a coherent way.
Their relationship, and the source of these scope issues, arises from the boundary specification
problem in network analysis (Laumann, Marsden, and Prensky 1983). Combined with an open systems
interpretation of organizations, it suggests that the scope of a unified ecologic and network approach to
social structure is effectively boundless. Through the introduction of geographic location and spaces for
social interaction, an ecology of association proposes a way to limit the scope of such a project, and
therefore allows researchers to study the unique implications of such an analytic synthesis.
This chapter includes four sections. The first outlines the demand for such an expansive
paradigm in both organizational analysis and the study of social networks. Next, an ecology of
association is constructed. In the process I demonstrate that both research paradigms indicate the
importance of spaces for social interaction. Third, I consider several theoretical implications of an
ecology of association. I conclude by considering a few of the limitations of this paradigm.
Please contact Theresa Anasti at firstname.lastname@example.org for an advance copy of the paper.
Food will be served.