Note: Class will be starting with a presentation on Davidson Domains.
“In incorporating gadgets into their lives, people have changed the way they interact with each other. They have become increasingly networked as individuals, rather than embedded in groups. In the world of networked individuals, it is the person who is the focus: not the family, not the work unit, not the neighborhood, not the social group” (Rainie and Wellman 2012, 20).
In other words, what Rainie and Wellman are arguing against is the primacy of what we identify as groups or social structures. We tend to see society as made up of social groups with boundaries: Americans, Latinx, Wildcats, sophomores, or my family (versus your family).Rainie and Wellman want us to see networks that make the boundaries of these social groups permeable and that emphasizes the connections between people. This predates the internet, or social media, or cell phones.
“Networked individuals have partial membership in multiple networks and rely less on permanent memberships in settled groups” (Rainie and Wellman 2012, 26).
“Why people do things, write things, or make things is erased by the sheer volume of numerical repetition and large patterns. This is not a space for reflection or the older forms of intelletual craft” (boyd and Crawford 2011, 4).
Social Network Analysis (SNA) can tell us what and how, but it cannot tell us why.
Think about the 6 points that boyd and Crawford (2011) make:
- Automating research changes the definition of knowledge.
- Claims to objectivity and accuracy are misleading.
- Bigger data are not always better data.
- Not all data are equivalent.
- Just because it is accessible doesn’t make it ethical.
- Limited access to big data creates new digital divides.