Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Connections versus relationships

Yesterday in class we discussed social network analysis and how it emphasizes the connections existing in a network (community). One of the critiques of the method that was raised was that connections may not mean the same as relationships. I have seen this in the community of youth that I have been observing. Sometimes we see that it appears the youth have relationships with each other --but they are only connections without the deep underlying affects related to friendship. In one example, a young man who had many, we thought strong, connections to others within the group stopped participating. Even those whom we thought had good relationships with him were unable to encourage him to participate anymore. Apparently he was connected to members in the group, but did not have real, meaningful relationships within the community.

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