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Schedule of Assignments


Please note that the schedule will change frequently as the semester goes along, and should be checked several times a week. Do NOT print it out at the beginning of the semester and assume that it will hold for any particular day later in the semester. The main purpose in putting it on the web was to allow easy changes. It is your responsibility to check the schedule 24 hours before each class to find out for sure what is due the next day. 

Legend:

F:    Manufacturing Tales by Gary Alan Fine, in bookstore
DT90:    You Just Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen, in bookstore
DT94:    Talking 9 to 5 by Deborah Tannen, in bookstore

Tu 18 Jan.  Introduction

In class: Logistics; Overview of course
Readings: None
Other: None

Th 20 Jan.  Introducing Social Networks

In class: Concept of social networks
Readings:  
Handouts:
Other: Sign-up for class listserv

Tu 25 Jan.  The Mathematics of Networks

In class: Mathematical representation; Elementary concepts
Readings:  
Handouts:
Other: Homework: Ego-Net Inventory, Part 1;  E-mail bio to the listserv

Th 27 Jan.  Analytical Tools: Drawing & Analyzing Networks

In class: Demos of the krackplot and ucinet 5 software packages
Readings: Borgatti, S., Everett, M. & Freeman, L. 1999. Ucinet 5 for Windows: User's guide. Harvard: Analytic Technologies. (skim)

Krackplot manual (skim)

Other: Homework: Ego-Net #2

Tu 1 Feb.  Six Degrees of Separation [guest speaker Pacey Foster]

In class: Watch Mad About You video
Readings: Travers, J. and S. Milgram. 1969. An experimental study of the small world problem. Sociometry. 32:425-443. [jstor]
Handouts:  
Other: Homework: Kevin Bacon Game

Th 3 Feb.  Connectedness & Diffusion [Guest speaker Ray Luechtefeld]

In class: Person to person transmission of information, influence, practices & disease
Readings: Klovdahl, A.S. 1985. Social networks and the spread of infectious diseases: The AIDS example. Social Science Medicine 21(11): 1203-1216.

[may want to get started on next week's reading -- there is a lot of it]

Handouts:
Other: Homework: Ego-Net #3

Tu 8 Feb.  Rumors & Urban Legends

In class: Discussion of BC campus legends -- come to class prepared with rumors and legends you have heard
Readings: F1-6; (this is a lot of reading)
Handouts:
Other: None

Th 10 Feb.  Analyzing Rumors & Legends

In class: How to analyze legends; social functions of rumors & gossip
Readings: Mishra, Jitendra. Managing the grapevine. Public Personnel Management
Other: None

Tu 15 Feb.  Social Constructionism

In class: How do we know what we know? social constructionism
Readings: F:7-9;
Handouts:
Other: None

Th 17 Feb.  Transactive Knowledge

In class: sensemaking; distributed cognition; transactive knowledge
Readings:
  • F:10-11; 
Handouts:
Other: None

Tu 22 Feb.  The Informal Organization

In class: The informal organization embedded in the formal organization; description and functions
Readings: Roethlisberger & Dickson. 1939. Management and the Worker. (read section of book on bank wiring room -- several chapters) [in library, on the shelves]]

Krackhardt, D. and J. Hansen. 1993. Informal networks: The company behind the chart. Harvard Business Review. July-august: 104-111

Handouts:
Other: None

Th 24 Feb.  Communities of Practice

In class: The key idea of a community of practice. 
Readings:
Other: None

Tu 29 Feb.  The Strength of Weak Ties Theory [guest speaker]

In class: Explaining the theoretical argument.
Readings: Granovetter, M. 1973. The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 78, No. 6. pp. 1360-1380. [ Article via JSTOR ]
Handouts: Notes on SWT
Other: None

Th 2 Mar.  The Strength of Weak Ties [guest speaker]

In class: Implications of the weak tie theory for individuals and communities
Readings: Granovetter, M. 1973. The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 78, No. 6. pp. 1360-1380. (continued)
Other: Rumor paper due via email. [the paper is not actually due until Thursday March 9th, during Spring Break]

Tu 7 Mar.  Spring Break

In class: No class
Readings:  
Other: Observe native rituals

Th 9 Mar.  Spring Break

In class: No class
Readings:  
Other:  

Tu 14 Mar.  Social Support

In class: Support functions of ego networks; composition & structure of ego nets.
Handouts:
Other: None

Th 16 Mar.  Brokerage

In class: Structural holes; types of brokerage between and within departments
Readings:  
Handouts:
Other: None

Tu 21 Mar. Centrality 

In class: Aspects & measures of centrality
Readings: Measures of Centrality;
Other: None

Th 23 Mar.  Correlates of Centrality

In class: Outcomes of centrality; the constraints and opportunities afforded by position
Readings: [optional] Leavitt, H. 1951. Some effects of communication patterns on group performance. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 46: 38-50.

[optional] Pitts, F. 1979. The medieval river trade network of Russia revisited. Social Networks 1: 285-292. 

Handouts:
Other: None

Tu 28 Mar.  Embeddedness

In class: How economic relations are embedded in social relations
Readings: Granovetter, M. 1985. Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 91, No. 3.  pp. 481-510. [Article via JSTOR]
Other: None 

Th 30 Mar.  Social Ties Among Organizations

In class: Inter-organizational cooperation; network organizations
Readings: Uzzi, B. 1996. The sources and consequences of embeddedness for the economic performance of organizations: The network effect. American Sociological Review 61: 674-698 [Acrobat pdf file] also available in library.
Other: None

Tu 4 Apr.  Social Capital

In class: Kinds of social capital; focus on individual social capital; resource-based view of the firm
Readings:

"The Social Capital of French and American Managers," R. S. Burt, R. M. Hogarth, and C. Michaud (Organization Science, 2000

Other: None 

Th 6 Apr.  Social Capital

In class: Group social capital; 
Readings: Putnam, R.1993. The prosperous community.The American Prospect Online 

Portes & Landolt

Poverty & Social Capital 

Other: None

Tu 11 Apr.  Social Capital in the Boston Club Scene [Guest Speaker]

In class: Pacey Foster will discuss his research on social capital
Readings: DT90:1-2 plus preface; 
Handouts:  
Other: None

Th 13 Apr.  Cross-Cultural Communication

In class: No class. Do the reading!
Readings: DT90:3; 
Handouts: cross-cultural; cultural differences

Micro-communication processes;

Other:  

Tu 18 Apr.  Intro to Sociolinguistics: Gender Differences

In class: language usage; meta-messages; gender
Readings: DT90:4-5
Handouts: notesConversation rituals;
Other: None

Th 20 Apr.  Easter

In class: No class / University holiday
Readings: DT90:6-8;
Handouts:  
Other: None

Tu 25 Apr.  Indirection & Mitigation

In class: language usage; meta-messages
Readings: DT90:6-10; DT94:1-3+preface;  
Handouts: Micro-communication processes;
Other: None

Th 27 Apr.  Markedness

In class: The notion of markedness
Readings: DT94:4-7;
Handouts: IndirectionMarkedness
Other: None

Tu 2 May.  Conclusion

In class: Wrap-up -- Review of the course;
Readings:  
Handouts:  
Other: None

Wed 3 May. Final exam will be posted on the web at 12 midnight. 

Wed 4 May. Communication paper due (12 midnight, email)

Wed 10 May. Final exam due, 12 midnight, via email.

Copyright 1997-2000 Stephen P. Borgatti Revised: 03 May, 2000 Home Page