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International Conference on Personal Relationships,, Groningen : Pays-Bas (1994)
Personal network, global network, structural rule
Alexis Ferrand ( ) 1

In this paper, we briefly indicate a few elements of two middle range theories to highlight the articulation of relational systems. Rather than considering the personal networks as a specific system it is more useful to see the personal networks as an articulation of relational systems. Each person is in the global network of friendship ties, where he/she has other friends, and in the global network of ties between workmates where he/she is linked to some. Their relation as friend and workmate is an articulation between these two global networks of friendship and workmate ties. A static reading of these articulations is possible when respondents are asked whether a tie currently exists in a relation with one or more other kinds of ties. But a dynamic reading is also possible when respondents are asked what kind of tie existed before the emergence of the tie examined. There is also another form of genetic articulation: when a third party who knows two actors on the basis of a given tie leads them to meet and establish a tie either similar or different from pre-existent ones. The nature and strength of these various articulations - on a higher level of analysis - constitute a structural property of the linkage of subsystems with each other.
1 :  Lasmas institut du longitudinal (LIL)
CNRS : UMR8097 – Université de Caen Basse-Normandie – École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS)
Sciences de l'Homme et Société/Sociologie
Personal network – relational systems – multiplexity – formation of relations – transitivity
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