The line between the sciences and the humanities is getting blurred lately. I say, “Bravo”.  Sørina Higgins is raising interesting questions about the use of network theory. There is a long-standing lament among mathematicians about the (not to put too fine a point on it) wimpiness of network analyses in the social sciences.

Frank Harary was, for me anyway, the clearest proponent of not just drawing a network but also using the mathematical theory of graphs to wring all the insight possible once the network has been drawn.  In 1953, he and Robert Z. Norman wrote the basic outline for how that should be done.  Alas, it’s only available on line in horrible scanned/OCRed PDF files.  I’ve taken the liberty of recreating the paper from a draft with elegant hand-scribbled figures and putting it here.  Harary & Norman


Harary, Frank, and Robert Z. Norman. “Graph theory as a mathematical model in social science.” U. Mich. (1953).