Objectifying social structures

Author(s)
Katja Mayer
Abstract

Social network analysis offers a broad range of formal and interpretative methodologies to deal with social structures, not only by discursive, but also by visual means. Sociograms, depicting social relations as nodes and lines, have played an important part in the reification of social structures since the beginnings of sociometry. This paper brings together two strands of analysis: first, a historical perspective on the development of social network visualization; and, second, exemplary stories of black-boxed technologies that inform not only the depiction, but also the interpretation of social networks. The article aims to reflect upon scientific construction of social structures as knowledge that is appropriated by society not least owing to its easy handling as tool and interface. Drawing social networks is regarded as social technology and therefore as an application within the realms of social engineering.

Organisation(s)
Department of Science and Technology Studies
Journal
Theory & Psychology
Volume
22
Pages
162-178
No. of pages
17
ISSN
0959-3543
DOI
https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.49591
Publication date
01-2012
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
509017 Social studies of science, 509025 Technology studies
Keywords
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Psychology(all), History and Philosophy of Science
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/objectifying-social-structures(fa0c3a83-f44e-430a-9ef3-ba18d45d8d5e).html