Understanding Social Networks: Theories, Concepts, and Findings

Understanding Social Networks: Theories, Concepts, and Findings

By: Charles Kadushin (author)Paperback

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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 Networks fills 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 Networks will 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.

About Author

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


Preface ; 1) Introduction ; -Getting Connected ; -Networks as Information Maps ; -Leaders and Followers ; -Networks as Conduits ; -The Point of View ; 2) Basic Network Concepts, Part I: Individual Members of Networks ; -Introduction ; -What Is a Network? ; -Sociological Questions about Relationships ; Connections ; Propinquity ; Homophily ; Individual-Level Homophily ; Homophily and Collectivities ; -Dyads and Mutuality ; -Balance and Triads ; -Where We Are Now ; 3) Basic Network Concepts, Part II: Whole Social Networks ; -Distributions ; Dyads and Triads ; Density ; Structural Holes ; Weak Ties ; -"Popularity" or Centrality ; -Distance ; 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 ; -Summary ; 4) Basic Network Concepts, Part III: Network Segmentation ; -Introduction ; -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 ; 5) 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 ; 6) Small Groups, Leadership, and Social Networks: The Basic Building Blocks ; -Introduction ; -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 ; 7) 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 ; 8) The Small World, Circles, and Communities ; -Introduction ; -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 ; 9) 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-AIDS ; Transporting Disease-Large-Scale Models ; -Tipping Points and Thresholds ; Threshold ; - Where We Are Now ; 10) Networks as Social Capital ; - Introduction ; 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 ; 11) Ethical Dilemmas of Network Research ; -Networks as a Research Paradigm ; -Anonymity, Confidentiality, Privacy, and Consent ; -Who Benefits ; - Cases and Examples ; Survey Research ; Organization Research ; Terrorists and Criminals ; Networks and Terrorism: The CASOS Projects ; -Conclusion: More Complicated than the Belmont Report ; 12) Coda: Ten Master Ideas of Social Networks ; -Introduction ; -The Ten Master Ideas ; Bibliography ; Notes ; Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780195379471
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 264
  • ID: 9780195379471
  • weight: 358
  • ISBN10: 0195379470

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