Understanding Social Networks Theories, Concepts, and Findings

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-01-04
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Despite the spread and adoption of social network concepts outside of the academy and the rising use of social network analysis across a number of disciplines, there is no general book designed for serious readers that introduces them to the basic ideas and concepts of social networks. Understanding Social Networksfills that gap by explaining the big ideas that underlie the social network phenomenon. Written for the reader who has never studied social networks, it covers fundamental concepts, then discusses networks and their core themes in increasing order of complexity. Kadushin demystifies the concepts, theories, and findings developed by network experts. He selects material that serves as basic building blocks and examples of best practices that will allow the reader to understand and evaluate new developments as they emerge. Understanding Social Networkswill be useful to social scientists who encounter social network research in their reading, students new to the network field, as well as managers, marketers, and others who constantly encounter social networks in their work.

Author Biography

Charles Kadushin is Distinguished Scholar at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and Visiting Research Professor of Sociology at Brandeis University and Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of seven books, including The American Intellectual Elite and Books: The Culture and Commerce of Publishing.

Table of Contents

Getting Connected
Networks as Information Maps
Leaders and Followers
Networks as Conduits
The Point of View
Basic Network Concepts
Individual Members of Networks
What Is a Network?
Sociological Questions about Relationships
Individual-Level Homophily
Homophily and Collectivities
Dyads and Mutuality
Balance and Triads
Where We Are Now
Basic Network Concepts
Whole Social Networks
Dyads and Triads
Structural Holes
Weak Ties"Popularity" or Centrality
Size of the Interpersonal Environment
The "Small World"Multiplexity
Roles and Positions
Named Positions and Relationships
Informal Positions and Relationships
Informal Relations and Hierarchies
Embeddedness of the Informal within Instituted or Named Networks
Observed Roles
Basic Network Concepts
Network Segmentation
Named and Unnamed Network Segments
Primary Groups, Cliques, and Clusters
Segmenting Networks from the Point of View of the Observer
Segmenting Groups on the Basis of Cohesion
Resistance to Disruption
Structural Similarity and Structural Equivalence
Core/Periphery Structures
Where We Are Now
The Psychological Foundations of Social Networks
Getting Things Done
Community and Support
Safety and Affiliation
Effectiveness and Structural Holes
Safety and Social Networks
Effectiveness and Social Networks
Both Safety and Effectiveness?
Driving for Status or Rank
Cultural Differences in Safety, Effectance, and Rank
Motivations and Practical Networks
Motivations of Corporate Actors
Cognitive Limits on Individual Networks
Where We Are Now
Small Groups, Leadership and Social Networks: The Basic Building Blocks
Primary Groups and Informal Systems: Propositions
Pure Informal Systems
How to Find Informal Systems
Asymmetric Ties and the Influence of the External System
Formalizing the System
Where We Are Now
Organizations and Networks
The Contradictions of Authority
Emergent Networks in Organizations
The Factory Floor
Information-Driven Organizations
Inside the Box, Outside the Box, or Both
Bridging the Gaps: Tradeoff s between Network Size, Diversity, and Social Cohesion
Where We Are Now
The Small World, Circles, and Communities
How Many People Do You Know?
The Skewed Distribution of the Number of People One Knows
Formal Small World Models
Clustering in Social Networks
Social Circles
The Small World Search
Applications of Small World Theory to Smaller Worlds
Where We Are Now
Networks and Diffusion
Networks and Diffusion - An Introduction
The Basic Model
Exogenous Factors in the Adoption of Innovation
Influence and Decision-Making
The Current State of Personal Influence
Self-Designated Opinion Leaders or Influentials
Characteristics of Opinion Leaders and Influentials
Group Influence
Epidemiology and Network Diffusion
Social Networks and Epidemiology
Social Networks and HIV-AIDSTransporting Disease - Large-Scale Models
Tipping Points and Thresholds
Where We Are Now
Networks as Social Capital
The General Idea of Social Capital
Social Capital as Investment
Individual-Level Social Capital
Social Support
Individual Networked Resources: Position and Resource Generators
Correlates of Individual Social Capital
Other Indicators of Networked Resources
Social Capital as an Attribute of Social Systems
Theorists of Social System Social Capital
Bowling Alone
Recent Findings on Social System Social Capital and Its Consequences
Where We Are Now
Ethical Dilemmas of Network Research
Networks as a Research Paradigm
Anonymity, Confidentiality, Privacy, and Consent
Who Benefits
Cases and Examples
Survey Research
Organization and Research
Terrorists and Criminals
Networks and Terrorism: The CASOS Projects
Conclusion: More Complicated than the Belmont Report
Coda: Ten Master Ideas of Social Networks
The Ten Master Ideas
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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