A General Assessment
After having presented the main concepts and ideas in White’s theoretical construction, the stage seems to be set for an assessment of his effort to develop a general sociological theory on the basis of the premises of the social network approach. Before proceeding, however, it should be pointed out that any such evaluative attempt must take into consideration the unfinished state of White’s theoretical construction. As many observers have pointed out (see Chapter 1), rather than a fully developed conceptual framework, that is, a coherent and consistent system of full-grown, well-integrated ideas, what is put forth in Identity and Control is only a little more than a sketchy outline of a grand theoretical project, representing a less systematic ensemble of some novel concepts, images, arguments and propositions, which are yet in need of much further theoretical refinement and elaboration. Indeed, given the fact that White is himself aware of the incomplete condition of his theoretical project, one is left with the impression that the ultimate purpose of Identity and Control is primarily experimental, that is, to test the worth and potential of the proposed original approach that it contains by inviting, sometimes provocatively, the sociological community to reflection and assessment.
KeywordsSocial Network Social Order Social Network Analysis Social Reality Real Actor
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