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  Piecing together ‘Big Pictures’ with Social Network Analysis and Digital Tools

Kaye, A. (2024). Piecing together ‘Big Pictures’ with Social Network Analysis and Digital Tools. BJHS Themes. doi:10.1017/bjt.2024.5.

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piecing-together-big-pictures-with-social-network-analysis-and-digital-tools.pdf
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Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of British Society for the History of Science

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 Creators:
Kaye, Aleksandra1, Author           
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1Department Structural Changes in Systems of Knowledge, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Max Planck Society, ou_2266695              

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 MPIWG_PROJECTS: Knowledge in and of the Anthropocene
 Abstract: When considering the ‘big picture’ in the history of science, what or who is considered important depends upon the focal point of the analysis. Social network analysis, equipped with digital methods, offers historians a way to help generate alternative perspectives for analysis by revealing elusive patterns obscured by the apparent ‘centre/periphery’ dichotomy or ‘great-men’ narratives. The presented methods are focused on studying connections, relationships and structural characteristics in networks and can thus help bridge global and local perspectives and suggest new historical lines of argument. This point is illustrated with a case study of Polish oil prospectors working in Argentina in the 1880s, which problematizes the narrative of the formation of transnational networks based on this mineral resource. The article discusses the place of digital methods within historical research, arguing that good skills in the interpretation and communication of outputs produced through digital research methods, coupled with familiarity with their associated theories, strengths and weaknesses, are indispensable.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2024-04-11
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1017/bjt.2024.5
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Title: BJHS Themes
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Cambridge University Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: - Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2058-850X