Activity 7

The readings this week ask us to consider the structure of social relationships people maintain. Are they dense local relationships or sparse, ramified relationships? For this activity you will explore this question by conducting an informal interview with someone living in your census tract about their social relationships.

Here are a few guidelines for the activity:

1. Locate someone who lives in your census tract (or perhaps in an adjacent tract). It can be someone you know, but maybe stretch yourself and interview someone you don’t already know.

2. Arrange to have a conversation with this person that will last no more than one hour. Let them know it is for a class assignment and that you plan to ask them questions about how they maintain contact with family and friends and how often they do this.

3. Begin by reminding them of the theme of the interview. Perhaps begin by asking them if they have family or friends that live in the neighbourhood. In Metro Vancouver? Outside Vancouver? Outside BC? Canada? Throughout the discussion, follow up by asking how they communicate and the types of activities they engage in together. What technologies do they use? What social media? Finish by asking about participation in social clubs and other organizations.

4. Take note during and immediately following your interview. Use those notes to create a profile of the interviewee (use a pseudonym) like those created by Wang, Zhang, and Wellman (p.691).

For Monday bring a 300 to 500 word (typed) profile of your interviewee and your reflections on how closely the profile reflects the networked individualism concept.