Objectifying social structures: Network visualization as means of social optimization

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Social network analysis offers a broad range of formal and interpretative methodologies to deal with social structures, not only by discursive, but also by visual means. Sociograms, depicting social relations as nodes and lines, have played an important part in the reification of social structures since the beginnings of sociometry. This paper brings together two strands of analysis: first, a historical perspective on the development of social network visualization; and, second, exemplary stories of black-boxed technologies that inform not only the depiction, but also the interpretation of social networks. The article aims to reflect upon scientific construction of social structures as knowledge that is appropriated by society not least owing to its easy handling as tool and interface. Drawing social networks is regarded as social technology and therefore as an application within the realms of social engineering.

Seiten (von - bis)162-178
FachzeitschriftTheory & Psychology
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Jan. 2012

ÖFOS 2012

  • 509017 Wissenschaftsforschung
  • 509025 Technikforschung