Логотип CGES

Dynamic of sociocultural network structures: Analysis of European creative collectives (2018-)

Networks 1

The project addresses one of the major fundamental issues faced by contemporary social sciences - the problem of identifying the principles of socio-cultural dynamics. To a large extent, these are the principles that drive social development. In order to better understand these principles, it is necessary to define the mechanisms that enable common dynamics of interpersonal networks and structures of culture. The latter include meaning structures that express collective visions about society and the world, and material structures constituting the physical context of social life. Understanding of the above-mentioned mechanisms would allow developing scientific insights into fundamental micro-level sources of social development and contribute to the establishment of such a new area of sociological research as socio-cultural micro-dynamics. Surplus, it may be used to enhance social development by constructing environments that correspond to specific self-organization trajectories of social entities.

The study is novel in a number of ways. Namely, it involves: (1) conceptualization of principles that determine joint dynamics of the social and cultural structures at the micro-level, (2) development of a methodological framework that includes formal analysis and statistical modelling techniques in order to study those principles, (3) empirical analysis of particular network patterns to test hypotheses on the principles of socio-cultural dynamics functioning at the micro-level. The theoretical framework of the project is based on relational sociology, established in the context of “the cultural turn” in sociology overall, supplemented with the principles of social constructivism and genetic structuralism of Pierre Bourdieu. These theoretical components provide a foundation to develop a new approach to conceptualizing the co-evolution of social and cultural micro-structures.This process is seen as self-organization of multi-level networks of relations between actors, concepts and objects, directed by the specific principles of socio-cultural dynamics. In terms of methodology, this project implies development of a methodological complex enabling analysis of micro-level socio-cultural dynamics that includes a mixture of formal, statistical and qualitative network-analytical techniques. In course of empirical application, the principles of socio-cultural dynamics will be studied via dynamic analysis of the micro-patterns of multi-level socio-cultural networks in five creative collectives located in St. Petersburg, London, Madrid, Barcelona and Hamburg, a unique array of longitudinal data on which was collected by the project team in 2015-2017.

The project is supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research.



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