James has brought to my attention "sociometrics", so I have decided just to do a little blog defining what it is and how I might be able to use it for some research for my topic. James also raised a good point by stating that popularity is differently defined by different people. I think this is important point to keep in mind as individuals and cultures will all have a different definition of peer popularity.
Sociometry is the known as the method for measuring social relationships. Sociometrics can reveal structures that give a group its form: the alliances, the subgroups, the hidden beliefs, the forbidden agenda’s and the ideological agreements. I think that sociometry can be used in order to increase the understanding of peer relations and how peers and others measure the popularity of each other.
Wu, Hart, Draper and Olsen (2001), describe research which suggests that "it is peer perceptions representing the perspective of many 'insiders' (peers, as apposed to outsiders such as teachers and parents) that may ultimately determine a child's sociometric status." Wu, Hart, Draper and Olsen (2001) state that sociometrics is used to identify children that may be rejected or neglected by their peers. Its and interesting this sociometry stuff so as I immerse myself in readings, I'm sure my understanding of it will blossom too ;o)
I also found this abtract to this an article which I found really interesting regarding the 2 types of popularity definitions that I was struggling with.
Sociometric popularity is computed based on peer liking and dislike. The relation between sociometric popularity and perceived popularity, based on peer identification of school associates considered popular, was investigated in a sample of 727 middle school students (7th and 8th grades). Most sociometrically popular students were not high on perceived popularity. Most students high on perceived popularity were not sociometrically popular. Perceived popularity was correlated more highly with a measure of dominance than was sociometric popularity. Sociometrically popular students who were not high on perceived popularity were characterized by peers as kind and trustworthy but not as dominant, aggressive, or stuck-up. Students who were high on perceived popularity but not sociometrically popular were characterized as dominant, aggressive, and stuck-up but not as kind and trustworthy. Sociometrically popular students who also were high on perceived popularity were characterized as kind, trustworthy, and dominant but not as aggressive or as stuck-up. (Parkhurst, 1998)
I shall try and get hold of the whole article because its very interesting. Well that's all for now my furry friends of the forrest! take care..
Parkhurst, J. T. (1998). Sociometric popularity and peer perceived popularity. The Journal of Early Adolescents, 18(2), 125-144. Retrieved on the 3rd of October from: http://jea.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/18/2/125
Wu, X., Hart, C. H., Draper, T. W., & Olsen, J. A. (2001). Peer and teacher sociometrics for preschool children: Cross-informant concordance, temporal stability, and reliability. Merrill Palmer Quarterly.