The article by Fuhse (p.52 ) expands upon sociological concept of a “network” to include other cultural components such as “meaning” to the interactions that occur within a society. In solely sociological terms, the term network describes a group of “people” that are linked together by one more connections. The author incorporates a multidimensional model to the idea of network.
The commonly understood idea of social relationships is that od reciprocity. That is, the linkages between parties in these social interactions operate on a foundation of social exchange in which each party is engaging in the interaction. Fuhse adds the idea of “alter” and “ego” to the idea of networking(p. 54). These terms convey a “value” with the alter being the desired nature of the exchange and the ego being that actual value.
The sociological perception of interactions is primarily used to describe the way in which trade is conducted within a society. However, it is applied in this article to the transactions that occur within the cultural assignment of status and role. The model offered by Fuhse adds the dynamic or evolutionary element to the concept of a network. In essence, there are the most obvious dynamics within the network that have to do with the roles that people play. Fuhse’s (65) models suggests that these interactions are occurring between parties, within parties, and include an assignment of status or role within each network. People interact with each other not simply out of a need to transact business but also by means of sharing meaning. As Fuhse (p. 64) points out, social networks have are not only social exchanges but cultural exchanges as well.