P207 (02 463P207)
The relevance of space, distance and mobility for egocentric networks
Form of presentation:
Researching transnational neworks in South Europe
José Luis Molina | Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona | Spain
One of the foremost consequences of the European integration is the growing number of citizens that either live permanently in another country than where they were born or follow a pattern of circular/temporary migration. In this communication we address the issue of how to elicit the transnational networks of persons and their affiliations to organizations / institutions in South Europe. Drawing on the approach followed by Mouw et al. (2014) for the transnational networks of Mexican migrants in the USA, in the research project ORBTIS (MINECO-FEDER-CSO2015-68687-P) we study the flows of contacts among two Romanian enclaves in Spain (Castelló & Roquetas de Mar), and their places of origin in Romania (Dambovita & Bistrisa-Nassau, respectively). This approach uses a link-tracing design where people interviewed in one place invite others in the place of residence and in origin to participate. In total 800 questionnaires will be collected (200 in each place), along with the affiliation to organizations/institutions. With this methodology, we aim to describe not just the web of contacts among individuals in this transnational space but also the network of organizations and institutions playing a role in it. Once the multilevel network has been elicited, 50 cases will be selected in order to conduct an in depth personal network analysis. With this research we aim to understand the dynamics of migrants enclaves within Europe, and the role of multilevel networks in explaining this phenomenon.
Mouw, T., Chavez, S., Edelblute, H., Verdery, A., Carolina, N., & Hill, C. (2014). Binational Social Networks and Assimilation : A Test of the Importance of Transnationalism. Social Problems, 61(3), 329–359. https://doi.org/10.1525/sp.2014.12192.This
Residential environments and personal networks in Germany
Sören Petermann | Ruhr-Universität Bochum | Germany
In models of establishing and maintaining personal networks, spatial conditions can facilitate or restrict actions. Contexts like residential environments support the formation of networks by offering diverse encounter opportunities as well as a variety of people who possess different resources. On the other hand, residential environments with scarce opportunities to encounter others and with a homogenous resource-poor population restrict the development of personal networks. However, contemporary theories of societal change question the impact of spatial conditions as mobility and communication technology break down spatial boundaries. Furthermore, spatial conditions may work different for different people depending on stage of life and mobility resource at hand. We investigate in spatially conditioned personal networks in modern societies like Germany and examine which structural characteristics of personal networks (size, density, composition) will be affected by space. We use data from the German General Social Survey 2010. The analysis shows that network sizes is less affected than density and composition.
In Passing: The relational meaning of space for the occurrence of informal knowledge sharing in R&D
Philip Roth | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung | Germany
Research has shown that informal advice networks are a key success factor for developers working on innovation projects in enterprises (Allen 1977). Following this, questions arise concerning the emergence of these networks and the corresponding milieu of interpersonal, spatial, and contextual interactions that facilitate their formation.
The research on these questions focuses particularly on the knowledge that actors have about others. This is grounded in the assumption that the occurrence of interactions results from a cognitive selection process. Contrasting research has demonstrated that unplanned encounters are essential to the emergence of informal advice networks (Backhouse & Dew 1992). In this context, the spatial work environment is of great importance, since it structures the occurrence of these encounters (Sailer et al 2016).
So far, it has not been possible to satisfactorily explain why some encounters encourage interactions , in particular professional exchanges, while others do not (Rivera et al 2010, S. 107). It is assumed that the context of the encounter is significant for this endeavor (Feld 1981; Fayard & Weeks 2007).
I suggest considering space relationally (Löw 2001) to reveal the structural meaning of contexts. We must account for the shared schemes of perception, thought, and action that structure the practical effect of space in Communities of Practice (CoP).
In the lecture, I will present the results of an investigation in which I examined the importance of the socio-spatial contexts of encounters at the occurrence of focused interactions in three development departments embedded into large corporations. Methodically, I applied the diary method (Roth 2015) and interviews. In sum, I worked with 43 developers for one month and analyzed 129 interactions.
The results clearly show that contexts have a CoP-specific but systematic impact on the unplanned occurrence of professional exchange. Furthermore, these findings relativize some basic assumptions about the connection between unplanned exchange and space. For example it is found, that open spaces, which promote the chance for co-presence, in two of three cases are counterproductive in regards to encouraging the interpersonal interactions critical to productive, informal advice networks.
These studies can be further employed to specify spatial conditions that promote unplanned encounters resulting in professional exchange, as well as those conditions that do not encourage productive network transactions. This enables the research community to determine the effect of spatial work environments on network interactions more precisely than is currently possible.
Personal networks and narratives about academic mobility: Visualizing the transnational mobile patterns of early stage researchers
Nina Jung | Mexico
This is a qualitative study about transnational mobile decision making of Early Stage Researchers (ESR) in Mexico. The study is based on follow-up data of ESRs’ career paths who had served a postdoctoral assignment at a public university in Mexico City between 2004 and 2015. Semistructured interviews reveal details about their mobility patterns and motivations. In this context I take into account the three types of mobility by Cairns (2014) that are important within the contexts of ESR: short-term mobility, degree mobility, and post-degree mobility. Categorizing the ESRs’ mobile decision-maker profiles considering their particular mobility patterns I found it helpful to make a division into three: 1. the Home Stayers, i.e. non mobile ESR 2. the Back Comers, those who perform and return from an assignment abroad and 3. the Away Keepers, those who never get back home from their stay abroad. As many of the interviewees show, mobile decisions taken by ESR do have to do with influences of people who offer them opportunities in other institutions and countries. Using narratives and visual personal network analysis career trajectories of ESR are illustrated and discussed.