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Can network thinking be extended to the broad range of social organization conventionally studies by sociologists? Applying structural thinking to American election data, it is possible to detect a social-economic hierarchy solely from the links among categories, without reference to external numerical indicators of rank. It is possible to detect and verify sensible and suggestive relative social positions for categories of income, education, gender, age, religion, race, party identification, and region – forming correlated hierarchies. The special contribution of the structural analysis is its simultaneous attention to detail and the overview of links, coupled with less dependence on a priori assumptions.
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Keywords: elections; research methodology; social networking; sociology; stratification

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Mathematical Social Sciences,Dartmouth College, HB6104Hanover,NH 03755, UK

Publication date: May 1, 2013

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