Week 12 (Apr 4, 6):
Tuesday     Ideology and Politics at the Eleventh-Century Court

Study Guide:

  • Read Bol’s “Government, Society, and State,” and consider: What split Wang An-shih [Wang Anshi] and his opponents, such as Ssu-ma Kuang [Sima Guang] at the eleventh-century court? What the political visions of each?
  • Read Gingras’s article. Consider:
    • What conclusions does Gingras draw from his study? What data does he use?
    • Compare Gingras’s work with Healy’s work on Paul Revere. Both take a network approach to solving a historical problem, but they use the network approach in different ways. What structural properties of a network does each focus on?
  • Think over Bol’s and Gingras’s articles. Exercise your imagination. How may network analysis be fruitfully applied to the study of court politics?
  • If you are ambitious enough, skim the suggested (i.e. optional) reading: Chapter 11 in Hanneman’s Introduction to Social Network Methods. What is a clique? What problems do network analysts encounter when they try to identify cliques in a network? What solutions have they come up with?

Thursday   Network Analysis in the Study of Elite Politics

Study Guide:

  • Read Padgett and Ansell’s classical study of the Medici family. Consider: What, according to the authors, led to the rise of the Medici’s? What type of network data have they used in this study? What methods of analysis have they applied to these data?
  • Read Strange’s more exploratory study of factional struggles at the Song court. Does his conclusion contradict that of Peter Bol, whom you read for Tuesday? How did Strange reach his conclusion?

End-of-the-Week Assignment

This week’s assignment is exploratory in nature. In the understanding that one will need to explore several possibilities in order to find a meaningful and feasible project, this assignment is to prepare you for your second digital project. Allow two or three hours for this assignment, depending on how familiar you are now with Gephi.

Open the Microsoft Access version of China Biographical Database (CBDB).

  • Use any of the existing network-querying modules (Query Associations, Query Social Networks, and Query Mediated Associations) to make at least two network queries.
  • Check the radio button next to “Pinyin” (the default is usually “UTF-8”) and click “Save to Pajek” button to save your queries as .net files.
  • Visualize each of your query results in Gephi. Color the nodes according to their modularity classes and size them based on their centrality values (betweenness or degree centrality or else, depending your needs). Save each of your visualization as a .gephi file.
  • Write two or more paragraphs in a Microsoft Word document.
    • In the first paragraph, explain briefly what each Gephi graph is about (e.g., correspondence networks of Wang Anshi, teacher-student networks among men in Luoyang between 1050 and 1127, etc.).
    • Then, choose one of your Gephi graph, and write a short interpretation of it (one paragraph or more). Include all Gephi graphs in your MS Word document.
  • Zip all your .gephi files and your MS Word document together, and submit the zipped file to the drop box on Moodle: Week 12: Gephi Exploration 1