Network Theory| Fuzziness of Inclusion/Exclusion in Networks

Karine Nahon


This paper addresses the concept of fuzziness of inclusion/exclusion in networks. It argues that the conceptualization of inclusion/exclusion is more complex than a static, binary dichotomy of in/out and requires that we take a viewpoint that examines the changes in the dynamics of power among the stakeholders. With this viewpoint we begin to examine the balance of power between gatekeepers and gated (the entity subjected to gatekeeping). The power dynamics are manifest through processes by which transient elites (gatekeepers) emerge and mature. Contrary to traditional thinking about gatekeepers controlling the whole process, we argue that the collective patterns of behavior of the gated have a crucial role in the emergence and sustainability of gatekeepers. Fuzziness is essential to the dynamics of these processes.

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