Networks of Surnames

You can build networks out of even the most everyday objects! Scientists at the University College London and University of Auckland published a study in PLoS ONE using telephone directories and electoral registers in 17 countries to build two-mode networks linking given names to surnames. When these graphs are projected into a one-mode network, they reveal interesting cultural and ethnic community structures about how surnames are linked to each other by common given names. The graph at right, for example, includes distinct clusters of South Asian\Indian, Tongan, Samoan and other Pacific Islander, and Eastern European names in New Zealand. The structure of this network suggests that socio-cultural naming practices reproduce themselves in diasporic communities but globalization is also driving interesting and emergent “mashups”. source: ScienceDaily

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