Dr Nikita Basov awarded British Academy Research Grant

Dr Nikita Basov (Department of Social Statistics) has been awarded a British Academy Small Grant. The grant will fund the project titled "Statistical Modelling of Meaning Creation in Interaction: A Test of Core Social Theories.".

In this project, Dr. Basov will explore the capabilities of recently advanced network modelling methods to test two core social theories: symbolic interactionism and social constructivism. By doing so, he aims to provide the first comprehensive quantitative test of these theories.

These new methods allow the disentangling of 3-layer socio-cultural network structures that connect individuals, words, and material objects within small groups of collocated individuals. This, in turn, facilitates the cross-validation of the fundamental assumptions that both theories make about how cultural meanings are formed across different types of interactions, structural levels, and time spans.

The project will utilize a globally unique multi-dimensional dataset capturing socio-cultural dynamics in five groups of visual artists over two years.

The development of statistical models for analysing how cultural meaning is created in society will constitute a significant contribution to social science. The results of testing core social theories have the potential to catalyse fundamental changes in social sciences and beyond.