Random alliance networks

Camille Roth, Floriana Gargiulo, Arnaud Bringé, Klaus Hamberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The morphological properties of kinship and marriage alliance networks, such as circuits, are typically considered as indicators of sociological phenomena - yet, they may also be partly coincidental. To assert the contribution of chance to these morphological features, we develop a standardized method where empirical alliance networks are compared with a random baseline. We apply our framework to a variety of empirical cases and show that some corpuses are remarkably well reconstructed by our random model, while others still feature significant divergencies which may be partly connected to field-based experience. On the whole, our approach may be used to scrutinize the matrimonial role of social groups as asserted by native or ethnological theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-405
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Networks
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • Alliance networks
  • Kinship networks
  • Morphology indicators
  • Multinomial model


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