It has been three years since I began work on my current research project, Winners' Circles. The PDF attached to this blog post (ZhengZhiUPresentation%20%28OAC%29.pdf) shows where I was a bit over a year ago when I gave a talk about the project at Zhengzhi University in Taipei. Since then I have had a few more ideas about the social network analysis that is driving my ethnographic and historical research on the world of Japanese advertising creatives whose work is published in the Tokyo Copywriters Club Advertising Copy Annual. Last fall saw a major breakthrough, when I was able to secure interviews with three of Japan's top creatives. There is still a lot of research to do, and I am hoping to arrange more interviews this spring. It is, however, time to start writing, for at least in my experience research only starts falling into place when I start writing about it. Procrastination will no longer do. 

 

I will be posting what I write on the  "Consuming Japan" blog that is part of the company website for The Word Works, Ltd., the translation and copywriting company that my wife Ruth and I run in Yokohama. I would very much appreciate feedback from the members of OAC and welcome any thoughts and comments you might have as the work unfolds. Clicking here will take you to the introduction I just posted.

 

UPDATE1: How being a participant in the industry affects the research

UPDATE2: Anthropological background and how the book is structured, revised 10 January 2011.

UPDATE3: Why social network analysis?

UPDATE 4: Assembling the data

UPDATE5: Designing the database

UPDATE6: Getting Started with Network Analysis

UPDATE7: Network and other perspectives

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Comment by John McCreery on January 7, 2011 at 4:24am
Heesun, your insight that "some features are common to any form of organization that works well" is beautifully in line with the fundamental insight of social network analysis, i.e., that there are structural features that recur universally in all sorts of social and other networks. The mathematics of networks apply to all networks that satisfy their assumptions, with implications that have to be taken into account whatever other considerations are also brought into play. In this respect the development of social network analysis has been diametrically opposite to that of postmodernism, with its focus on ambiguity and particularity. The tension between these two approaches is what fascinates me about my current project.
Comment by John McCreery on January 6, 2011 at 5:59am
Just a quick note about a couple of changes to the blog. To indicate the chronological order in which the work progresses and avoid interrupting the flow of comments, I will be adding links to new postings on www.wordworks.jp as UPDATES to the introduction. I have also changed the title from "A New Year's Resolution" to "Winners' Circles," which seems more in keeping with the ongoing project.
Comment by John McCreery on January 5, 2011 at 4:57am
Thanks, Toby. The second bit, describing the advertising industry participant's perspective that I bring to the book can be found here.

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