Whole, personal or egocentric networks?

We had the pleasure to listen to Professor José Luis Molina from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, in Timișoara. He gave an inspiring keynote address titled Whole, personal or egocentric networks? What do we know about personal networks and why it matters. The talk about social networks was linked to the concept of liquid society which refers to emergent, changing social structures, which are partially based on agency and personal interactions.

During his talk, professor Molina pointed out that the study of egocentric/personal networks is especially suited for identifying such structures, linking places within and across nations, and networks of organizations or institutions. Egocentric/personal networks informed social network thinking from its inception but just recently the availability of personal network data with both strong and weak ties have contributed to the development of a growing number of contributions in this area.

Nevertheless, in order to fully develop this approach is necessary to distinguish between egocentric (small number of alters), and personal networks (large number of alters). Thus, while egocentric networks are especially useful for social support and health applications, he contended that personal networks are better suited for the study of emergent social structures.

Drawing on more than a decade of research collecting personal networks with a large number of alters, the presentation aims to take stock of the main lessons learned, and reflect upon the theoretical contribution of personal networks to the understanding of social structures and its dynamics.

The talk was held at the West University of Timișoara, Romania, on September, 15.

The presentation delivered at the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, Romania, on September, 17, can be seen below.

ICONIC on air at the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation

Gabriel Hâncean, the principal investigator of the iCoNic project, was invited by Corina Negrea, science journalist, to give an interview on social networks in general, and about iCoNic project in particular, for Radio România Cultural, the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation’s second national channel. Gabriel also talked about the activities that will take place soon both in Timișoara, at the Romanian Sociologist Association Conference Living in a Liquid Society and in Bucharest, at the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work. All of these are part of the iCoNic international workshop Analyzing multiple networks from diverse perspectives, a series of conferences about the influence of social networks.

Firstly, Gabriel talked about what are social networks and how they shape our day-by-day life. People are different, so our social networks. What it counts here is that individuals are their own engineers of their social web (composed by social ties) and that they have the power to control the possibilities and opportunities given by being part of a social network. Studying this type of subjects represents what GraphNets, the research group on graphs and social networks, does in its scientific research activity.

Secondly, he discussed the main objectives of the iCoNic project. The main research objective is to assess the extent to which co-authorship relations (structures) positively impact on the university researchers’ distributions of citations, in a longitudinal framework. He pointed out that in Romanian academic structures, there are few researchers who collaborate to each other and it becomes harder and harder to get funding in order to perform research.

The interview (in Romanian) is online here.

Analyzing multiple networks from diverse perspectives – international workshop

The first ICONIC international workshop Analyzing multiple networks from diverse perspectives will take place from September 15 to 26, 2018, actually representing a series of lectures, seminars, roundtables and a hands-on workshop meant to cover many different uses and practices of social network analysis. This omnibus workshop is the first of such scale in Romania, taking place in two cities – Timisoara and Bucharest –, for six days, and approaching numerous topics, like personal networks, transnational (migrant) networks, coauthorship networks in science and semantic networks. It has also a multidisciplinary purpose, bringing together social sciences, computer and data science, linguistics and digital humanities, and ethics.

The special guest and keynote speaker is Professor José Luis Molina (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology) who will deliver two lectures. The first one, on September 15, 09.30 AM, opens the second day of the 5th International Conference of the Romanian Sociologists Society, Living in a liquid society, in Timisoara, held at the West University of Timisoara. A second one is due on September 17, 09.30 AM, in Bucharest, at the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest. Professor Molina’s lectures will start from a general question: Whole, personal or egocentric networks? What do we know about personal networks and why it matters. Alongside professor Molina, two invited guests will join the workshop: Adina Nergheș (Digital Humanities Group at the KNAW Humanities Cluster) and Angelina Irena Kussy (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology).

During the whole period no more than five sessions, roundtables and a practical workshop will bring together around 20 researchers. In Timisoara, the ICONIC team and its guests are part of a panel devoted to Living in a liquid society, living in transnational social fields. In Bucharest, we will analyze networks from multiple perspectives for two consecutive days (September 18 and 19, 2018). The last two days of this scientific meeting, September 25 and 26, are dedicated to semantic networks, from a theoretical and practical standpoint. The hands-on workshop speaker and mentor is Adina Nergheș.

The full programme is available here.

For detailed information about lectures and panels, participants and abstracts please check the booklet.

If it’s September, it’s the social networks season!