A Social Network Analysis of the
 Entrepreneurialism of Harriet Tubman in
 the New York State Underground Railroad
 Presen...
What We Will Attempt to Show
   The frame of reference for this study is the Underground
    Railroad Movement in the US,...
The UGRR: A Brief History
 Most scholars believe it began shortly after
  the arrival of the first Africans to Colonial
 ...
The UGRR: A Brief History
   1830’s: First appearance of the name. Original
    name “Underground Road” (Gara 1961);

  ...
UGRR – Some Key Actors



           William Still ~ 1844-1861 –   Elizabeth Cady Stanton 1815-1902
           Philly
    ...
Theory: The UGRR as a Social Movement


   McCarthy and Zald (1977: 1220) define a
    social movement as “ a set of opin...
Social Contagion & Innovation - Structural Equivalence &
Cohesion (Burt, 1987)

   Where there is evidence of contagion, ...
Insurgency as Contagion: Cohesion vs.
Structural Equivalence
   Contagion can be distinguished into contagion by cohesion...
Insurgency as Contagion: Cohesion vs.
Structural Equivalence

   Communication networks serve as a mechanism that
    exp...
Social Trust & Network Theory
  Individuals that are in relationships characterized
   by high levels of social trust are...
Social Trust & Network Theory
   Trust is an action that involves a voluntary transfer of
    resources (physical, financ...
Simmelian Ties - (Krackhardt 1998)
 “Two people are Simmelian tied to one
  another if they are reciprocally and
  strong...
Simmelian Ties (continued)
   Engle (1999) also found an association between
    Simmelian ties and individual effectiven...
Data and Method
   BOOKS (not a complete list)
                                             • Archival sources: (not a
 ...
Data and Method
UCINET (Borgatti, Everett & Freeman, 2002) used to
 input and analyze data. Actors are assigned a weight
 ...
Network Measures
   Structural Holes (Burt 1992): Gaps in
    social structure between disconnected
    actors. The theor...
Structural Holes Measures – Burt, 1992
 Effsize The effective size of ego's network: The
  number of alters (other actors...
Tubman through Space & Time – The Evolution
of Her Network
Tubman through Space & Time - The
Evolution of Her Network
Tubman through Space & Time - The
Evolution of Her Network
Tubman through Space & Time - The
Evolution of Her Network
Tubman through Space & Time - The
Evolution of Her Network
Tubman through Space & Time - The
Evolution of Her Network
Tubman through Space & Time - The
Evolution of Her Network
Tubman through Space & Time - The
Evolution of Her Network
All Main Actors with dates of their
active period in the UGRR
Tubman Structural Equivalence Profile - 1854
                     Abolitionists & Underground
                            ...
Tubman Structural Equivalence Profile - 1855



                      Tubman & Abolitionists &
                      Under...
Tubman, Myers, Still, Smith, Douglass, Brown,
Stanton - Tree
Structural Holes Measures – Burt, 1992
 Effsize The effective size of ego's network: The
  number of alters (other actors...
Network Measures – Main Actors
                                                       Flow       Closene     Informati
   ...
Tubman, Myers, Still, Smith, Douglass, Brown,
Stanton
Cliques
    Eight Cliques were found

1.   Tubman, Harriet Myers, Stephen - Albany Douglass, Frederick Stanton,
     Eliz...
The UGRR and Social Contagion
   “During this winter of 1850 and 1851, slave conspiracies
    sprang up like contagion in...
Contagion through Cohesion
   Harriet Tubman strived to create and
    nurture strong, reciprocal ties (Simmelian
    Tie...
Transferring Trust: Network Transferability Explained




      NT is a function of (Trust in others, Simmelian
      Tie ...
Future Work
      We are in the process of mapping the social structure of
       freedom across North America; (Acknowle...
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A Social Network Analysis of the Entrepreneurialism of Harriet Tubman in the New York State Underground Railroad (by Binod Sundararajan)

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Information & Social Networks Symposium 2010
Dalhouise University
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Transcript of "A Social Network Analysis of the Entrepreneurialism of Harriet Tubman in the New York State Underground Railroad (by Binod Sundararajan)"

  1. 1. A Social Network Analysis of the Entrepreneurialism of Harriet Tubman in the New York State Underground Railroad Presented at the Information & Social Networks Symposium, Social Media Lab, Dalhousie University, Monday, Oct 4, 2010 Binod Sundararajan*, Nicholas M.Young†, Paul Stewart‡, Mary Liz Stewart‡ * School of Business Administration, Dalhousie University; † Independent Scholar (formerly a Research Fellow at the Centre for Race & Ethnicity at Stanford University); ‡ Scholars-in-Residence at Russell Sage College, Troy, NY and also Co-Founders of the Underground Railroad History Project of the New York State Capital Region
  2. 2. What We Will Attempt to Show  The frame of reference for this study is the Underground Railroad Movement in the US, specifically the NY UGRR Movement and following the exploits of one Harriet Tubman.  Enslaved African Americans, free-Blacks, and Whites worked together in an organized manner to free those in her family and friends;  The origin of Harriet Tubman’s network in her bid to free slaves and fugitives and take them to freedom and offer some interesting thoughts on social contagion, structural equivalence and cohesion. How certain types of network ties led to the creation and evolution of her network .  Where contagion occurred , its effect was more through cohesion than structural equivalence  The presence of Simmelian Ties also indicate high individual effectiveness
  3. 3. The UGRR: A Brief History  Most scholars believe it began shortly after the arrival of the first Africans to Colonial America (1619);  Early Evidence of Insurgency: ◦ 1785: John Jay and Peter Titus organized abolition society for seeking the manumitting of enslaved Africans; ◦ 1786: George Washington complained in a letter to friend that a few of his slaves escaped, and appeared to have been helped by “an organized group.”
  4. 4. The UGRR: A Brief History  1830’s: First appearance of the name. Original name “Underground Road” (Gara 1961);  Developed because of the advent and development of rail transportation;  1876: Levi Coffin--The self-proclaimed “President” of the UGRR-”Reminiscences” told a tale about using an underground road to assist freedom seekers.
  5. 5. UGRR – Some Key Actors William Still ~ 1844-1861 – Elizabeth Cady Stanton 1815-1902 Philly Rev. Abel Brown – 1810-1844 Gerrit Smith – 1797 – 1894, Peterboro, NY
  6. 6. Theory: The UGRR as a Social Movement  McCarthy and Zald (1977: 1220) define a social movement as “ a set of opinions and beliefs in a population which represent preferences for changing some elements of the social structure and/or reward distribution of a society.”
  7. 7. Social Contagion & Innovation - Structural Equivalence & Cohesion (Burt, 1987)  Where there is evidence of contagion, there is evidence of personal preferences at work  Where contagion occurred , its effect was through structural equivalence and not cohesion  Regardless of contagion, adoption was strongly determined by a physician’s personal preferences, but these preferences did not dampen or enhance contagion  There is no evidence of a physician’s network position influencing his adoption when contagion is properly specified in terms of structural equivalence
  8. 8. Insurgency as Contagion: Cohesion vs. Structural Equivalence  Contagion can be distinguished into contagion by cohesion and contagion by structural equivalence (Burkhardt, 1994). ◦ Contagion by cohesion refers to the influence of those who had direct communication. These individuals’ perceptions of self-efficacy of the new technology were significantly influenced by people who had direct communication. ◦ Contagion by structural equivalence refers to the influence of those who had similar communication patterns. These individuals’ general attitudes and the use of the new technology were more influence by people who shared similar communication patterns.
  9. 9. Insurgency as Contagion: Cohesion vs. Structural Equivalence  Communication networks serve as a mechanism that exposes people, groups, and organizations to information, attitudinal messages and the behaviors of others (Burt, 1980, 1987; Contractor & Eisenberg, 1990).  Due to this exposure it increases the likelihood that network members will develop beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes similar to those of their networks (Carley, 1991; Carley & Kaufer, 1993).  Factors such as frequency, multiplexity, strength, and asymmetry can shape the extent to which others influence individuals in their networks (Erickson, 1988).
  10. 10. Social Trust & Network Theory  Individuals that are in relationships characterized by high levels of social trust are more apt to openly exchange information and to act with caring benevolence toward one another than those in relationships lacking trust (Goddard, 2003).  People may work together and achieve success through trust, while working on projects that rely on each individual’s contribution (Dirks and Ferrin, 2001).  Van de Bunt, Wittek, & De Klepper, (2005), found that the structural hole effect turned out to be a major predictor of network evolution.
  11. 11. Social Trust & Network Theory  Trust is an action that involves a voluntary transfer of resources (physical, financial, intellectual, or temporal) from the trustor to the trustee with no real commitment from the trustee (Coleman 1990).  A time lag exists between the extension of trust and the result of the trusting behavior (Coleman 1990)  For Simmel, trust is a force in which a “further element” exists within the concept that represents an “element of socio-psychological quasi-religious faith,” which he suggests can vary in importance, is “hard to describe, and concerns a state of mind that has nothing to do with knowledge, which is both less and more than knowledge” (1990 179).
  12. 12. Simmelian Ties - (Krackhardt 1998)  “Two people are Simmelian tied to one another if they are reciprocally and strongly tied to each other and if they are each reciprocally and strongly tied to at least one third party in common.”  “Each pair of people in a clique are Simmelian tied to each other and conversely, any pair of individuals who are Simmelian tied are comembers of at least one clique and calls such a coclique relationship as Simmelian.”
  13. 13. Simmelian Ties (continued)  Engle (1999) also found an association between Simmelian ties and individual effectiveness but, task interdependence did not moderate the relationships between either Simmelian ties or structural holes and individual effectiveness.  Simmelian tied dyads (defined as dyads embedded in three-person cliques), relative to dyads in general reach higher agreement concerning who is tied to whom, and who are embedded together in triads in organizations. (Krackhardt & Kilduff 2002)
  14. 14. Data and Method  BOOKS (not a complete list) • Archival sources: (not a  Brown, C.S. (1849): The Memoirs of complete list) Abel Brown; – Ripley, P.: The Black  Siebert, W. (1898): The Underground Abolitionist Papers; Railroad;  Gara, L. (1961): The Liberty Line; – The Tocsin of Liberty;  Larson, K. (2004): Bound for the – The Syracuse Tribune; Promised Land;  Bradford, H. (1886): Harriet Tubman: – Executive Committee The Moses of Her People; Report of the Eastern Thomas, S. (2004) An Autobiography of  the Life of Frederick Douglas; New York Anti-Slavery  Still, W. The Underground Railroad; Society.  Bordewich, F. (2005): Bound for Canaan
  15. 15. Data and Method UCINET (Borgatti, Everett & Freeman, 2002) used to input and analyze data. Actors are assigned a weight (1-5) that attempts to measure their level of centrality in a network; Given their centrality as conductors, the main actors (Tubman, Brown, Myers, Still, Smith and Douglass), were assigned a weight of 5; other actors that they knew personally as they worked to free the enslaved and help the fugitives make their way to freedom were assigned weights between 1 and 4. Actors that the conductors may have known a little less personally were assigned weights in a decreasing order (4, 3 & 2), while we assigned a weight of 1 uniformly to all the slaves they helped escape.
  16. 16. Network Measures  Structural Holes (Burt 1992): Gaps in social structure between disconnected actors. The theory of structural holes states that individuals seek to enhance their structural autonomy, by forging ties with two or more unconnected alters, thus creating indirect ties between people with whom they link.
  17. 17. Structural Holes Measures – Burt, 1992  Effsize The effective size of ego's network: The number of alters (other actors in the ego’s network) minus the average degree of alters within the ego (main actor) network, not counting ties to ego.  Efficiency: The effective size divided by the number of alters in ego's network.  Constraint: Measures the extent to which ego is invested in people who are invested in other of ego's alters.  Hierarchy: Indicates the extent to which constraint on ego is concentrated in a single alter.
  18. 18. Tubman through Space & Time – The Evolution of Her Network
  19. 19. Tubman through Space & Time - The Evolution of Her Network
  20. 20. Tubman through Space & Time - The Evolution of Her Network
  21. 21. Tubman through Space & Time - The Evolution of Her Network
  22. 22. Tubman through Space & Time - The Evolution of Her Network
  23. 23. Tubman through Space & Time - The Evolution of Her Network
  24. 24. Tubman through Space & Time - The Evolution of Her Network
  25. 25. Tubman through Space & Time - The Evolution of Her Network
  26. 26. All Main Actors with dates of their active period in the UGRR
  27. 27. Tubman Structural Equivalence Profile - 1854 Abolitionists & Underground Operators
  28. 28. Tubman Structural Equivalence Profile - 1855 Tubman & Abolitionists & Underground Operators
  29. 29. Tubman, Myers, Still, Smith, Douglass, Brown, Stanton - Tree
  30. 30. Structural Holes Measures – Burt, 1992  Effsize The effective size of ego's network: The number of alters (other actors in the ego’s network) minus the average degree of alters within the ego (main actor) network, not counting ties to ego.  Efficiency: The effective size divided by the number of alters in ego's network.  Constraint: Measures the extent to which ego is invested in people who are invested in other of ego's alters.  Hierarchy: Indicates the extent to which constraint on ego is concentrated in a single alter.
  31. 31. Network Measures – Main Actors Flow Closene Informati Degree betweene ss on Central ss Centralit Centralit Actors ity Centrality y y Structural Hole Measures EffSize Efficie Constra Hierarc Tubman, Harriet 248 77.874 56.213 2.844 53.772 0.996 0.023 0.062 Brown, Abel 95 55.118 41.85 2.486 33 1 0.035 0.065 Myers, Stephen - Albany 40 0.626 44.393 2.71 7.843 0.784 0.345 0.486 Douglass, Frederick 39 13.545 38.462 2.422 7.549 0.944 0.145 0.011 Stanton, Elizabeth Cady (women's rights) 22 0.558 43.379 2.522 3.422 0.684 0.356 0.188 Still, William - Philly 16 6.228 36.965 2.221 3.5 0.875 0.295 0.141 Smith, Gerrit 14 23.346 48.223 2.486 2.286 0.762 0.388 0.04 Hopper, Isaac T. - NYC 9 0.002 36.122 2.187 1 0.5 0.671 0.431 Concklin, Seth 9 2.105 27.221 1.45 2 1 0.506 0.035
  32. 32. Tubman, Myers, Still, Smith, Douglass, Brown, Stanton
  33. 33. Cliques  Eight Cliques were found 1. Tubman, Harriet Myers, Stephen - Albany Douglass, Frederick Stanton, Elizabeth Cady (women's rights) 2. Tubman, Harriet Still, William - Philly Myers, Stephen – Albany 3. Tubman, Harriet Mott, James - Philly Myers, Stephen – Albany 4. Tubman, Harriet Mott, Lucretia - Albany Myers, Stephen – Albany 5. Tubman, Harriet Hopper, Isaac T. - NYC Myers, Stephen – Albany 6. Tubman, Harriet Green, Sam Jr. Myers, Stephen – Albany 7. Tubman, Harriet Myers, Stephen - Albany Smith, Gerrit 8. Tubman, Harriet Stanton, Elizabeth Cady (women's rights) Chase, John
  34. 34. The UGRR and Social Contagion  “During this winter of 1850 and 1851, slave conspiracies sprang up like contagion in the South. Southern newspapers told of attempted or successful insurrections in Missouri,Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina.” (Let My People Go: The Story of the Underground Railroad and the Growth of the Abolition Movement, By Henrietta Buckmaster, 1992)  “Since the day of '76, there has not been such a popular demonstration on the side of human freedom in this region. The humane and patriotic contagion has infected all classes. Scarcely any other subject has been talked about in the streets, or in the social circle. “(From the "Liberator," Nov. 1, 1850. SLAVE-HUNTERS IN BOSTON.)
  35. 35. Contagion through Cohesion  Harriet Tubman strived to create and nurture strong, reciprocal ties (Simmelian Ties) in her network  She exploited both structural equivalence and cohesion to spread the contagion of liberty among the enslaved African Americans  By virtue of her repeated, mostly successful “forays”, she gained credibility among her network alters to the extent that she became trustworthy enough to have trusted network contacts transferred to her so that she could do what she did best
  36. 36. Transferring Trust: Network Transferability Explained NT is a function of (Trust in others, Simmelian Tie Strength and Simmelian Brokerage)
  37. 37. Future Work  We are in the process of mapping the social structure of freedom across North America; (Acknowledging the contribution of the Kaufman Foundation)  Were actors able to get consensus on decisions relating to the network?  How long did it take to develop the networks structures?  Were these transferable? We are answering this now.  Does a well designed cooperative network develop into a more or less efficient network?  What is the rhetorical significance of these findings in social movement discourse?  Answers to these questions will help us better understand the impact of communication patterns, network structure and social dynamics on the decision-making processes in entrepreneurial endeavors.

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