Network Theory and Social Complexity - Anthro Version

From InterSciWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Network theory

Network Theory and Social Complexity Seminar

Network Theory and Social Complexity - Anthro Version

(Fall 2007) Soc Sci 289B (72595), Anthro 289B (60554) Tues 9-11:50, SSPA 4249 --> with the possibility of changing rooms to --> SST 630 (but that would require a change to Thurs 2-5. Will check this with everyone at the first class meeting Tuesday October 2, 9-11:50, SSPA 4249). Office hours Thursday 2-3:15. Thurs 22 is Thanksgiving. Thurs 29 I am at a conference.

Participants can freely post sites to the wiki, review items in the wiki, attend local events listed, edit wiki pages, talk to other participants, post CVs, Bios and project pages. Instructions for wiki posting and editing are available on the wiki site and will be reviewed in the seminar.

Just for fun

  1. Log into network and data visualization at IBM
  2. Use fluffshack to create an adjacency matrix (more network visualization)


Interests of participatns

What are your particular interests in networks and complexity? If possible, let me know in advance at drwhite (at)

  • ( ) Ethnography
  • ( ) Socal Networks/Sociology
  • ( ) Conceptual tools
  • ( ) Methodological and computing tools
  • ( ) General social theory
  • ( ) Organizational studies
  • ( ) Human-computer interaction, Internet, Computer supported cooperative work
  • ( ) Historical analysis: Cities and trade networks
  • ( ) World system contemporry and historical analysis
  • ( ) Comparative studies
  • ( ) "Complex networks" and simulation
  • ( ) Other: ______

The initial readings will be expanded given the orientations and the problem areas of the participants. I.e. this page is still under construction in the early weeks preceding and into start of classes. Seminar participants should add readings (and their url links) for items they want to cover.

Theory and realism

To what extent can ethnography, sociology, history, ..., ..., benefit from the theoretical and representational frameworks of networks and complexity?

Can these frameworks provide realism - and how is realism related to abstraction v. modeling? Can we leave the positivist concept of modeling behind?

Mutual dualities - to what extent are abstraction and instantiation-concretization mutual elements of theory?

Instance and time - what roles to structure, meaning, change, and dynamics?

<Empirical Formalism by Murray Leaf, Structure and Dynamics: eJournal of Anthropological and Related Sciences. Manuscript 1065.

Networks, ethnography, history, complexity

urban ethnography and complexity sciences

<Doormen (Fieldwork Encounters and Discoveries) 2005 by Peter Bearman. Chapters of the ethnography - originally a class project - exemplify principles of complexity that are partly explanatory .

network ethnography and complexity

<Network Analysis and Ethnographic Problems> and its <Chapter 1> (starting on p. 32 of the pdf

networks and emergence

How malfeasance through networks constructed global markets: <Malfeasance and the Foundations for Global Trade: The Structure of English Trade in the East Indies, 1601-1833> Emily Erikson and Peter Bearman. American Journal of Sociology 111(6).


comparative ethnography, fractals, diversity

<The complex structure of hunter–gatherer social networks by Hamilton, Milne, Walker, Burger, and Brown. Proceedings of the Royal Society B (UK). 2007. Senior author (last is often first) James H. Brown is known for <The fractal nature of nature: power laws, ecological complexity and biodiversity with Vijay K. Gupta, Bai-Lian Li, Bruce T. Milne, Carla Restrepo and Geoffrey B. West.

self-organization, culture and fractals, the vernacular sciences

<Ron Eglash>. Recommended reading: African Fractals <articles self-organization course wiki <grad syllabus Complexity

<Ethnomathematics <Appropriating technology: Science in the vernacular

fractals, complexity theory, and development

<fractals in development Ron Eglash

Complexity, simulations, and development (links courtesy of Eglash site)
Lansing, Stephen & John Miller. <“Cooperation, Games and Ecological Feedback: some insights from Bali"
Lansing, <“nugget” on Balinese water temples
Critique of Lansing: Stefan Helmreich. <“Digitizing 'Development': Balinese water temples, complexity and the politics of simulation” Critique of Anthropology, Vol. 19, No. 3, 249-265 (1999)
Lansing, Stephen. <“Foucault and the Water Temples: A Reply to Helmreich” Critique of Anthropology (1999) 20(3):337-346.

Lansing, Stephen. 2006. Perfect Order: Recognizing Complexity in Bali. <Introductory chapter.

Bill Maurer, <"Complex Subjects: Offshore Finance, Complexity Theory, and the Dispersion of the Modern" Socialist Review. 25 (3&4): 114-145.

“Kevin Kelly's Complexity Theory: The Politics and Ideology of Self-Organizing Systems” Steve Best and Douglas Kellner. Organization & Environment, Vol. 12, No. 2, 141-162 (1999).

background on networks and complexity

An evolving lecture on <Complexity in human behavior>.

<Mark Newman, 2007. <Mathematics of Networks, in press (pdf), in The New Palgrave Encyclopedia of Economics, 2nd edition, L. E. Blume and S. N. Durlauf (eds.), Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

tracing longitudinal change through network blockmodeling

<"The Structure of Social Protest: 1961-1983." 1993. Bearman, Peter S. and Kevin D. Everett. Social Networks. 15:171-200.

2007 <Role Models for Complex Networks Jörg Reichardt, Doug White <submitted to European Physical Journal B

small worlds and complex networks

Watts, Duncan J. 2004. <"The "new" science of networks" Annual Review of Sociology 30:243-270.

Watts, Duncan J. 2003. Six Degrees: the Science of a Connected Age.

power laws, networks and complexity

Barabasi, Albert-Laszlo. <Linked}: <[ How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means. Plume books 2003.

Complexity studies of terrorism, Lawrence Kuznar, 2007a "Rationality Wars and the War on Terror"; "Risk Sensitivity and Terrorism" 2007b.

<“On the Frequency of Severe Terrorist Attacks” <A. Clauset, M. Young and K. S. Gleditsch. Journal of Conflict Resolution 51(1): 58–88 (2007).

Fitting measures for distributions

alternatives to power laws and generalized complex networks

"power laws" from foragers to city networks fit a more general law or pattern: see <Fractals, Mandelbrot, self-similarity>, the <Tsallis q distribution project>, <Tsallis q historical cities and city-sizes> study group, <Social-circles network model>, and the (highly esoteric) <Robustness of the Second Law ... under Generalizations...>, etc.

planetary troubles

2007 <Growth, innovation, scaling, and the pace of life in cities. Luís M. A. Bettencourt, José Lobo, Dirk Helbing, Christian Kühnert, and Geoffrey B. West, <PNAS 104(17):7301-7306. <supplementary materials

The evolving lecture on <Complexity in human behavior>.

drw summer school lectures on networks, complexity and human history

Averting a Runaway Massive Planetary-Systems Breakdown White, Harrison (note to review: Haila, Yrjö, and Chuck Dyke (eds). 2006. How Nature Speaks: The Dynamics of the Human Ecological Condition. Duke University Press. <$22 as eBook

Stability domains group White, Harrison Studies


There are also older materials relevant to this seminar on a course site


Topical reports and reading discussions

Term project

Term paper

Human Complex Systems (HCS) Courses 2007-2008

Undergrad, UCI, Fall 2008: Kinship and Complexity

Undergrad, UCI, Fall 2007: Human Social Complexity and World Cultures

Grad Seminar, UCI, Fall 2007: Network Theory and Social Complexity

Undergrad, Grad: UCI, Fall-Winter-Spring 2007-2008: Course: social networks & complexity

Grad Seminar, UCI, Spring 2008 (taught at UCSD, UCI students by wiki and interactive video): Anthropological Models and Methods 2008

UCI eee pages

Undergrad, UCLA