Random thoughts on networks and communications from a MACT student

It Really is a “Small World”

I reposted some of the material that we discussed during COMM 506 on Small World’s as I feel this is worth posting.  This definitely is one of my “wow” moments for MACT 2012!

Today during our COMM 501 class, our professor was speaking about ethnography research.  She mentioned cultural anthropology and going through some of the disadvantages and advantages.  My father was a cultural anthropologist. I was deciding if I should mention this and to confirm with the professor’s statement (yes growing up with an anthropologist was interesting). This was a FYI  rather than a thought provoking idea (which rarely happens anyways!) I did mention it and after I rambled on,  I thought to myself “Why did I bring that up, very irrelevant”.  Well I finally was rewarded with talking too much in class, Dianne came up to me and said is your father Dr. Young? Yes he is and my father was her professor on two different occasions (late 80’s and again in early 90’s) at University of Alberta (U of A) and then I said “What a SMALL WORLD.. and then I realized holy, this is what Kadushin (minus the fact that the nodes are objects in this example) was talking about in Chapter 8! Ding ding, now I “somewhat” understand!

Below is an artistic diagram drawn by  Dr. Kate Milberry  to explain what was going on with the network.  There are two redundancies as there are two different ways to get to the nodes as per the diagram.  The U of A is what all three nodes have in common. Right now Dianne and I are strong ties as we have MACT/U of A in common.  Dianne and my father  had strong ties while there was the teacher/student relationship during the U of A class but now they have a weak tie because there is no connection to the  U of A. 

What striked my curiosity was how Dianne knew that is was my father as the last names are different?  She said that  mentioning the three nodes (U of A, Anthropology and Health) had triggered it or she is extremely intuitive!

To read another small world examples visit Heather’s blog!  This one is excellent as it spans internationally!


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2 thoughts on “It Really is a “Small World”

  1. Our ties are much stronger than we thought! I agree, today was certainly a “wow” moment for me too. Sorry, I did not get back to you before your post with the dates of my interactions with your Father … but, do not think it really matters. What is more telling of the student-educator interaction or tie that was created, is the impact this relationship had on my continued interest in understanding how knowledge/information is shared.

  2. Great example of the small world concept!

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