Meanings and relations: An introduction to the study of language, discourse and networks
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AbstractThis special issue offers papers that together reach toward sociological understanding of “meaning.” We contextualize that effort in intersecting intellectual trends—the emerging relational sociology of networks and meanings, which has progressed steadily since the 1990s, and the diverse enterprise of sociology of language, which is much less established in the U.S. Given space limitations, we acknowledge others’ work but concentrate on Harrison White's turn to language and linguistics, which influenced all the papers herein. We highlight each paper's contribution to a new relational sociology and new understanding of language as mechanism and methodology, which might change the study of agentic actions, social processes, politics, networks and institutions.

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