Building National Connections: Social and Political Networking in the Early 13th Century

Thursday, January 5, 2017: 1:30 PM
Room 502 (Colorado Convention Center)
Song Chen, Bucknell University
With the expansion of the civil service examinations and the increasing availability of educational and political resources from the 11th century onwards, the political elite in Song dynasty China was transformed from a capital-centered group into one more embedded in their native communities in different parts of the empire. Social networks of the elite also underwent profound changes. Marriage became more localized, whereas a shared literati culture also fostered national connections. Using network data on marriage and correspondences, this paper harnesses the power of digital tools to study the structure of elite networks in the early thirteenth century in comparison with those in the eleventh century. It explores spatial clusters in elite networks and the nature of brokerage between different regional groups.
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