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Social Ties Elements of a Substantive Conceptualization
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2010 (English)In: Acta Sociologica, ISSN 0001-6993, E-ISSN 1502-3869, Vol. 53, no 4, 323-338 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Paradoxically, the contemporary network approach has so far declined to produce a theoretically elaborate account of social relationships - the very core entities that underpin both its ontological outlook and methodological stance. This article addresses certain substantive aspects of social connectivity that are either theoretically underdeveloped or largely neglected in this approach. These include: (1) the essential and defining properties of relationships; (2) their inherent dynamics; (3) the impact of larger socio-cultural contexts in which specific ties and networks emerge; and, finally, (4) various grounds of connectivity and general types of social ties. The article concludes with a discussion of how the prevailing formalistic conception of social tie poses an obstacle to the materialization of the great potentials of the network approach and how a substantive re-conceptualization of its bedrock entity may open up the possibility of turning this mode of inquiry into a truly relational approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 53, no 4, 323-338 p.
Keyword [en]
control, embeddedness, expectations, networks, relational sociology, relationships
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-66211DOI: 10.1177/0001699310379437ISI: 000285378500002OAI: diva2:467734
authorCount :1Available from: 2011-12-19 Created: 2011-12-19 Last updated: 2011-12-19Bibliographically approved

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Azarian, Reza
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