Thoughts on Radil et al.

After reading “Spatializing Social Networks: Using Social Network Analysis to Investigate Geographies of Gang Rivalry, Territoriality, and Violence in Los Angeles”, I am more able to understand the methodologies of quantitatively relating physical geography and social networks. The use of reported violence as the indicator for relatedness is interesting, especially in the field of social networks.

This article begins by introducing qualitative sociological and geographic concepts such as embeddedness, locale, and sense of place. The use of qualitative GIS to observe such phenomena is nothing new. The mixed method approach used for this research is problematic. Several reservations were explained in the conclusion, including the dynamic nature of gang rivalries.

The issues that I found with the formation of the social network is the binary nature of rivalry, and the source of these network links, the LAPD. Is the opposite of rivalry allyship? or indifference? Is the cause of “gang-related violence” solely concerned with “spatial transgressions”? If these transgressions occur between non-rivals is there simply no violent response? Or do transgressions only occur between gangs that share a common border?

The statistical methods used in this article were difficult to grasp. Although the subject matter was interesting, and the results could be stated simply (the location of gang violence is spatially correlated with turf between rival gangs). I would like to learn more about the network positionality and the quantitative process of CONCOR for evaluation of qualitative links.

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