Geography and SDHI joint Seminar: Using links as basic data in social science

Come and join us for an exciting seminar by Dr Kaberi Gayen, Associate Professor, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Monday 28th November, 2011 between 2pm and 4pm

Room 2G14 Dalhousie Building University of Dundee

Conventionally, in social science, analysis is based on the attributes of the sample unit, normally, the actor. The methods appropriate

to attribute data are those of variable analysis, whereby attributes are measured as values of particular variables (income, occupation, education etc.). Here an alternative is forwarded that of the contacts, ties and links, the group attachments and meetings, which relate one agent to another and so cannot be reduced to the properties of the individual agents themselves. Relations are not the properties of agents, but of systems of agents; these relations connect pairs of agents into larger relational systems. The methods appropriate to relational data are those of network analysis, whereby the relations are treated as ex- pressing the linkages which run between agents. This allows the position of the person (actor) in their social web to be represented and can take account on the influences on that individual emanating from those whom they are connected with.

In this presentation the application of this approach is exemplified by, mainly, a re- search conducted on women in sampled villages in rural Bangladesh. The purpose of the research was to understand the nature of the influences on the likelihood of using contraception and in accessing professional care facilities. In this presentation the whole processes of the investigation is presented. This allows one to more effectively understand how peer-pressure and local economic change influences the individual both directly and through their web of contacts. From this frame of analysis it is shown that not being in a central position leaves one more exposed to missing key health information. Another important out- come is to demonstrate how strata in society might accelerate change or impede change. Examples have been drawn also from a recent research on drug users of slums in Dhaka city and the social networks of older workers in Edinburgh local job market.

Short Bio of Dr Kaberi Gayen

Dr Kaberi Gayen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism in the Social Science Faculty of Dhaka University, Bangladesh. She obtained her PhD, Modelling Influences of Communication on the Fertility Behaviour of Women in Rural Bangladesh, from Edinburgh Napier University in 2004. Then she pursued her EU-funded Post-doctoral research, Social Networks of Older Workers, in the same university from 2004-2007. In both her PhD and Post-doctoral research, she performed extensive fieldworks to understand the influence of social web on human behaviour. She returned to Bangladesh in 2007 to join Dhaka University and the subjects she teaches there include Advanced Mass Media Research and Cultural Analysis, and Communication and Gender. She published considerably in the area of Social Network Analysis, Analysis of Social Capital, and Gender Studies. Her published book is Modelling Influences of Communication (2009), Construction of Femininity in the War Films of Bangladesh (2012, forth coming).

Some recent academic publications include:

Gayen, T., Gayen, K., Raeside, R. and Lawrie, E. 2011. “Cohesive Subgroups and Drug User Networks in Dhaka City, Bangladesh”. Global Public Health. DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2011.573800. Pp. 1-21.

Gayen, K. and R. Raeside. 2010. “Social Networks and Contraception Practice in Rural Bangladesh”, So- cial Science and Medicine. 71(9): 1584-1592.

Gayen, K. and R. Raeside. 2010. “Communicative Actions, Women’s Degree of Social Connected- ness and Child Mortality in Rural Bangladesh”, Child: Care, Health & Development. 36(6): 827-834.

Gayen, K. and R. Raeside. 2007. “Social Networks, Normative Influence and Health Delivery in Rural Bangladesh”. Social Science and Medicine 65 (5 September): 900-914.

Gayen, K., R. Raeside and R. W. McQuaid. 2010. “Social Networks, Age Cohort and Employment”, Inter- national Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. 30 (5/6): 219-238.

Elliott, L., Raeside, R., Gayen, K., and Janett, Pow. 2011. “Understanding Complex Interactions using So- cial Network Analysis”, Journal of Clinical Nursing. (In Press).

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