NETWORK AND MEANING: AN INTERACTIONIST APPROACH TO STRUCTURE

Gary Alan Fine*, Sherryl Kleinman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social network is a concept interactionists might use to link individual behavior to the larger social system. A symbolic interactionist formulation of network would: 1) approximate the original, anthropological usage better than the current structural conception does, 2) offer symbolic interactionists a unit of social organization better suited to their perspective than the small group, and 3) allow symbolic interactionists to deal with “macro” sociological concerns. Network is conceived of as a set of relationships which people imbue with meaning and use for personal or collective purposes. By emphasizing subjective meaning and the investigation of multi‐purpose and weak ties, the interactionist formulation provides theoretical insights into those aspects of society which “structural” approaches overlook. 1983 Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-110
Number of pages14
JournalSymbolic Interaction
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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