Reflections on a Critical Sociology of Networks
Keywords: Sociology of Networks, Relational Social Science, Human Complex Systems, Research Methods, Internet, Big Data, Power, Social Dynamics
AbstractNowadays, sociological concerns for networks, relations, associations, processes, mobilities and flows are intensive and emblematic. This reflection takes “networks” and their multiple products as starting points for a new sociological imagination. It hence outlines a set of current theoretical and methodological issues for approaching the wide and diverse field of the sociology of networks in a critical manner, beginning from the analytical distinction between the critical and the normative-functionalist sociology of networks. The paper concludes with reference to contemporary digital society and the critical use of network data, that is, ever-larger quantities of information generated by human communicative interactions in social networking platforms and other web activities.
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