Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Social Network Mapping

Dave Pollard is thinking about mapping relationships with people, groups, places and things, and pondering how identity can be represented in ways that could help us understand our lives better.
"An application of all this that intrigues me is in assessing how we should (and can) change ourselves. I tend to agree with many of you that if we are to have any credibility as change advocates we need to be a role model, we need to show not tell people what needs to be done. We need to be the change. So do we start by a navel-gazing process that entails some personal, individual decisions and bold actions? Or, if our relationships and networks define us, do we start by first finding or redefining the circles, the communities to which we (and others) belong and then let those new and altered communities redefine and change us?"
He's approaching the complexity of relationships in exactly the right way, I think. We tend to view the strands of our lives (work, marriage, friendships, leisure, etc.) in isolation, as if a decision made in one strand wouldn't affect the others...or worse, thinking that a change in one would miraculously fix problems in others without any real sense of why that might be.

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