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Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Analyzing meaning-making in network ties


"How to understand meaning-making in social relations has long been a key issue in sociological network thinking and research and has been addressed by an impressive body of research, most with either a theory-oriented or a method-oriented focus. This article argues for the value of strengthening the links between both approaches to meaning-making in networks. From an empirical perspective, this article draws on small story research and combines it with recent advances in network theory led by Harrison C. White. People relate to one another by telling small stories that engage positioned identities in story lines. Meaning-making in social relations builds on and continues this shared storytelling history. I suggest two basic analytical operations to reconstruct meaning-making in social ties from textual data. The first basic operation disentangles small story sequences from a text and investigates their identity positionings (small story level). The second basic operation integrates all small stories about a tie and teases out varieties of identity positionings, their patterning, and their inner logic (tie level). This article presents a practical procedure to analyze meaning-making in network ties that is simultaneously combined with qualitative research principles and consistent with recent developments in sociological network thinking." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

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Bibliografische Daten

Bernhard, Stefan (2018): Analyzing meaning-making in network ties * A qualitative approach. In: International Journal of Qualitative Methods, Vol. 17, No. 1, 11 S.