Situations, Networks and Culture—The Case of a Golden Wedding as an Example for the Production of Local Cultures

  • Christian Stegbauer Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Keywords: network research, situations, local cultures, two-mode networks, event-event networks, uncertainty reduction, participatory observation, network dynamics, production and analysis of culture


The article focuses on the way events are connected with preceding events of the same type carrying out a participatory observation on a golden wedding celebrated in a small village in the middle of Germany. Events are formally connected by their participants. In contrast to participant networks, the chronological order of event-event networks is evident. Different models for the connection of events are discussed with reference to a classic dataset of the "Deep South" study DAVIS, GARDNER and GARDNER (1941). A stability of forms (in the sense of SIMMEL's "formal sociology" [1908]) was found with a variation of some elements. The main reason for the stability is the uncertainty that arises when people temporarily change their position from that of guest to host. They fall back on approved forms for their celebration. Professionals are the other important position. They ensure that events will take place as they did in the past. It is proposed that an analysis of the chronological order of networks between events can lead to a renaissance in the cultural analysis of forms. The analysis presented is an approach to an investigation of the development of culture.



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Author Biography

Christian Stegbauer, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

Christian STEGBAUER, Lecturer in sociology at the University of Frankfurt. He is the speaker and cofounder of the Sociological Network section of the German Sociological Association. Research interests: Investigating the fundamentals of sociology with the aid of network analysis, internet sociology, communications sociology and cultural sociology

How to Cite
Stegbauer, C. (2012). Situations, Networks and Culture—The Case of a Golden Wedding as an Example for the Production of Local Cultures. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 14(1).
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