Human Organization Research: Field Relations and Techniques

By Richard N. Adams; Jack J. Preiss | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIII
A SOCIOMETRIC METHOD FOR DISTINGUISHING SOCIAL STRUCTURES*

Charles H. Proctor


INTRODUCTION

SOCIOMETRIC theory, concepts, and techniques have been developed for stating hypotheses, collecting data, interpreting results, and making recommendations on group organization. Moreno's classic study, Who Shall Survive,1 broke new ground in all these fields. Although early sociometric studies tended to investigate closed groups in institutional settings2 and small rural communities3 the kinds of social groups studied have steadily multiplied, as the contents of the journal Sociometry testify. More recent research settings range from primitive tribes to modern military bureaucracies, while sociometric techniques have been used by social psychologists studying small groups under laboratory conditions as well as by anthropologists in studies of kinship systems4

A wide variety of methodological problems have been raised and many solved by investigators using sociometric techniques, and several general discussions of sociometric methods are available5 The scope of this presentation is much more limited, however. It is particularly con-

____________________
*
An original contribution, prepared for this volume.
1
Jacob L. Moreno ( 1953).
2
Helen H. Jennings ( 1950).
3
Charles P. Loomis ( 1945).
4
Fred L. Strodtbeck and A. Paul Hare ( 1954).
5
Ake Bjersted ( 1956), J. G. Franz ( 1939), Gardner Lindzey and Edgar F. Borgatta ( 1954). Charles P. Loomis and Harold B. Pepinsky ( 1948), and Charles H. Proctor and Charles P. Loomis ( 1951). See also chap. 11, ed. Joan Criswell and Leo Katz , in Jacob L. Moreno (forthcoming).
[EDITORS' NOTE: Some readers may find the terminology and presentation of this discussion rather condensed and specialized, particularly in terms of mathematical models. This is due jointly to the focus of the problem and the device employed to deal with it. It was deemed desirable to show that research tools can develop in a variety of ways within a general technique, such as sociometry. In the interest of space economy, it was felt that readers themselves could examine the numerous bibliographical references wherever necessary.]

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