Sociology Social Networks
by
David Knoke
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 July 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0051

Introduction

Social network analysis comprise theories and methods of investigating structural relations among social actors and explaining social outcomes as the result of connections at the individual, subgroup, and complete network levels of analysis. Originating in social psychology, small group studies, and anthropology in the middle of the 20th century, the network perspective blossomed in the 1970s through a convergence between theoretical interests in structural sociology and proliferating computer programs capable of analyzing network data using matrix algebra techniques. The numbers of publications, research projects, and academic programs grew exponentially in the decades since the 1970s as virtually all basic and applied social science disciplines discovered the relevance of structural relations to their intellectual concerns. The micro-level foundations of social networks are concerned with people choosing to interact with one another in various ways, from forming friendships and exchanging information, to giving advice and assistance, to political and sexual relations. Such small-scale decisions aggregate to more meso-level social structures that can hinder or facilitate collective action by groups and organizations, such as athletic team performance or work group productivity. At the most macro-levels of analysis, the structures and actions of national economies and international systems of sovereign nations can be explained with the conceptual and empirical tools provided by social network analysis. This online bibliography takes a predominantly historical approach to the development of social network analysis, emphasizing the key theoretical, methodological, and substantive publications with which most aspiring networkers should familiarize themselves.

Textbooks and Handbooks

Because social network analysis is rarely taught to undergraduates, no comprehensive textbook has tackled theoretical issues and substantive applications at that level. A few general handbooks or readers on social networks topics have been published, but many become outdated in this rapidly developing interdisciplinary field. At the graduate level, network methods are typically an integral or dominant part of an introductory course. Many methods texts either require or teach matrix algebra and graph theory as foundations for introducing relational data concepts and measures of network structure, such as sociograms, density, centrality, cliques, social cohesion, structural equivalence, blockmodels, or more specialized and advanced topics. Two general introductions to social network analysis, suitable for novices having scant mathematical preparation, are Scott 2000 and Knoke and Yang 2008. Wasserman and Faust 1994 and Jackson 2008 are advanced texts requiring readers to become familiar with matrix algebra. Two recent collections featuring specialized topics are Carrington, et al. 2005 and Carrington and Scott 2011, while de Nooy, et al. 2005 is a user’s guide to a popular computer program for visualization of networks.

  • Carrington, Peter, and John Scott, eds. The SAGE handbook of social network analysis. 2011. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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    With nearly forty chapters by prominent network analysts, this collection spans a broad range of contemporary theoretical, methodological, and substantive issues, including social capital; diffusion; kinship; online networks; social movements; policy; and terrorist, scientific, and world systems networks.

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    • Carrington, Peter J., John Scott, and Stanley Wasserman, eds. 2005. Models and methods in social network analysis. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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      Thirteen chapters present accessible introductions to recent developments and advanced network methods, including network sampling, blockmodeling, correspondence analysis, diffusion, expected random graph models (ERGMs), and models for studying change with longitudinal network data.

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      • de Nooy, Wouter, Andrej Mrvar, and Vladimir Batagelj. 2005. Exploratory social network analysis with Pajek. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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        After covering basic social network analysis concepts, demonstrates how to use the Pajek computer package to perform cohesion, brokerage, ranking, and blockmodel analyses. Special strengths are many examples, detailed computer instructions, and exercises with examples.

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        • Jackson, Matthew O. 2008. Social and economic networks. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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          A comprehensive monograph aimed at economists, who have been discovering the prevalence of networks in markets and other economic actions. Although this book overlaps with sociological approaches, Jackson offers a game-theory perspective missing in that discipline. The notation system is quite formidable, and network novices should not begin their studies with this volume.

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          • Knoke, David, and Song Yang. 2008. Social network analysis. 2d ed. Los Angeles: SAGE.

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            A complete revision of a network analysis primer that treats basic methods in some detail and sketches more advanced topics. A distinctive feature is attention to issues of network measurement and data collection. Originally published in 1982.

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            • Scott, John. 2000. Social network analysis: A handbook. 2d ed. London: SAGE.

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              A more elementary treatment of methods, not reliant on formal notation, mixed with brief histories of network research from classical to contemporary applications.

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              • Wasserman, Stanley, and Katherine Faust. 1994. Social network analysis: Methods and applications. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                A lengthy, comprehensive treatment of both elementary and advanced topics in network data analysis, with numerous illustrations on some classic small datasets. Emphasizes both graphs and algebraic formulas. The latter initially requires persistent effort to learn the standardized notation, but pays off with many insights into structural relations.

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                Journals

                Social network research appears in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals spanning all social science disciplines, as well as computer science and physics. Most are general journals that publish articles on a variety of non-network topics. Only a handful of journals are dedicated to social network analysis. Social Networks and the Journal of Social Structure publish primarily articles about social network analysis methods, with some substance pieces mixed in. Connections has fewer methods articles and more shorter items such as abstracts, software reviews, and professional gossip. A very new journal, Social Network Analysis and Mining, seems likely to feature interdisciplinary articles about analyzing large networks. Fewer social network articles appear in the Journal of Mathematical Sociology, but its contents are worth reading for ideas about other approaches to quantifying social systems.

                Software

                Numerous software programs and packages for general and specialized network analyses are available on the Web. Many are free but some require purchasing a license. Among the dozen programs mentioned here, most appear to be well maintained with periodic upgrades. Interested readers should consult their websites for more details. Programs are discussed in the two subsections below on data analysis programs and visualization programs, respectively.

                Data Analysis Programs

                The programs in this subsection primarily emphasize formatting and analyzing complete-network data using matrix algebraic techniques. UCINET (Borgatti, et al. 2011), now in its sixth version, is one of most comprehensive and user-friendly packages, among the best for classroom instruction in basic and advanced network techniques. Network Genie specializes in network data collection and formatting for input to other programs. MultiNet (Richards 2000), Statnet, and StOCNET all feature advanced network models, while SIENA (Snijders 2007) is the best program available for longitudinal network analysis.

                • Borgatti, Steve, Martin Everett, and Lin Freeman. UCINET (Version 6.332). Analytic Technologies, 2011.

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                  UCINET, developed by Steve Borgatti, Martin Everett, and Lin Freeman, is arguably the most comprehensive package. Procedures include data transformation, similarity measures, centrality and connectivity, subgroup identification, role and position analysis, and semigroups of relations. It contains multidimensional scaling, cluster analysis, and correspondence analysis routines, and can test hypotheses with matrix correlation and regression. UCINET is integrated with NetDraw for constructing network diagrams.

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                  • Network Genie. Tanglewood Research.

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                    Network Genie is a commercial program for designing social network surveys, managing data collection, and exporting data formatted for other network analysis programs. Surveys can be administered in face-to-face interviews or over the Internet, for egocentric or complete networks.

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                    • Richards, William D. MultiNet (Version 2.11). 2000.

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                      MultiNet is freeware that can analyze attribute and relational data for networks with more than five thousand nodes. It specializes in contextual analysis (examining actor attributes in the context of relations among them), spectral analysis (eigen decomposition) to identify clusters or structurally equivalent nodes, and p* modeling of networks. William D. Richards developed MultiNet from his NEGOPY program for detecting cliques, liaisons, and isolates in networks.

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                      • Snijders, Tom. SIENA (Version 3.11). 2007.

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                        SIENA (Simulation Investigation for Empirical Network Analysis) is a free program for statistical analysis of longitudinal network data. It takes an actor-oriented approach to modeling network dynamics, where actors decide whether to change ties to others. Version four (RSiena) is a package in the R statistical system, with an interface to Visone. SIENA was developed by a research team headed by Tom Snijders.

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                        • Statnet (Version 2.3). 2011

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                          A free suite of packages for statistical modeling of network data, including exponential random graph models (ERGMs), latent space, and latent cluster models; includes prototype packages for managing and animating longitudinal network data. Statnet runs in the R statistical system and was developed by a team from the University of Washington, Penn State, and UC-Irvine.

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                          • StOCNET (Version 1.8). 2007.

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                            StOCNET is freeware for the advanced statistical analysis of social networks that contains six separate modules, including an earlier version of SIENA. Other modules estimate stochastic blockmodels, latent transitive structures, exponential random graph models (p2), probability distributions of random graph statistics, and structural models based on partial algebraic structures. StOCNET contains no visualization procedures. StOCNET was developed by SciencePlus software engineers and faculty at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

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                            Visualization Programs

                            The programs in this subsection feature visual displays of social network data as graphs. KrackPlot was an early program for displaying graphs, now eclipsed by the growing popularity of Pajek (Bagatelj and Mrvar 2011), which is both a stand-alone program and integrated with UCINET. SoNIA makes nifty animations, while Visone (Brandes and Wagner 2011) offers colorful, innovative ways to visualize social structures. InFlow and NetMiner are commercial programs whose costs may be too high for students.

                            • Batagelj, Vladimir, and Andrej Mrvar. Pajek (Version 2.03). 2011.

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                              Pajek is a free program for analysis and visualization of larger network datasets, up to a million nodes if computer memory allows. For efficient processing, its algorithms use six data structures—networks, partitions, permutations, clusters, hierarchies, and vectors—with multiple manipulations and descriptive options, but has only a few statistical procedures. Pajek’s visual displays allow multiple colors for nodes, which can be useful in spotting patterns in huge networks. The program is also integrated with UCINET. Pajek, the Slovenian word for “spider,” was developed by Vladimir Batagelj and Andrej Mrvar.

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                              • Brandes, Ulrik, and Dorothea Wagner. Visone (Version 2.6.3). 2011.

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                                Visone is a free program that integrates analysis and visualization of social network data for teaching and research. Because Visone is in constant development for research purposes, it lacks a user manual. Hence, the program is perhaps best learned by attending a workshop such as the POLNET Summer School. Project leaders Ulrik Brandes and Dorothea Wagner worked with an interdisciplinary team to develop Visone, which is the Italian word for “mink”.

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                                • Krackhardt, David. KrackPlot.

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                                  A free network graphics program created by David Krackhardt for automatic and manipulated graphic displays of networks. KrackPlot permits visual displays of network node attributes, which can be highlighted by color and shape, and can display graphs created in UCINET.

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                                  • Krebs, Valdis. InFlow (Version 3.1).

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                                    A commercial program for organizational applications, developed by Valdis Krebs for business and nonprofit clients, that combines network analysis and visualization in an integrated product. Among its metrics are small-world networks, structural equivalence, network neighborhood, and path distributions, but it has no statistical methods.

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                                    • McFarland, Dan, and Skye Bender-deMoll. SoNIA.

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                                      A Java-based package for visualizing longitudinal network data. SoNIA can work with continuous time data, slicing it into networks, and display the results as a structural change “movie.” It was developed by Dan McFarland and Skye Bender-deMoll.

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                                      • NetMiner (Version 3). Cyram.

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                                        Currently in its third version, NetMiner is a package for visual and interactive exploratory, sensitivity, and statistical analyses of network data. It can perform multidimensional scaling, correspondence and cluster analyses, and statistical analyses on networks with typically 1,000 nodes and 10,000 links, although some routines purportedly can handle up to 100,000 nodes and 1 million links. NetMiner is proprietary software of Cyram.

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                                        Network Datasets

                                        Numerous social network datasets have been collected over the decades, and many are available for secondary analyses or for teaching applications. The UCINET computer package comes with several classic datasets, most notably Theodore Newcomb’s fifteen weekly Michigan fraternity friendship matrices. The sources below are archives, repositories, or hyperlinks to online collections of various network data. The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) has a vast trove of survey datasets, only a handful of which involve either egocentric network questions or complete-network data. Three General Social Survey (GSS) modules collected egocentric network data, which can be linked to other respondent characteristics. The Pajek Datasets and Stanford Large Network Dataset Collection (SNAP) are medleys of diverse social networks, while both the Network Databases and Network Data collections include several nonhuman relational datasets that may have limited appeal for social scientists. Trust Network Datasets is a work in progress that could emerge as a go-to source for a specific type of relation. Datamob and the Enron Email Dataset are fun to explore for inspiration about potential network analyses.

                                        Professional Associations and Workshops

                                        Compared to older and more established academic disciplines, social network analysis only recently began creating institutional opportunities for professional development and networking. The International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA) hosts the principal annual meeting that brings together researchers from the multiple disciplines constituting the field. Three recurring summer schools and short training programs—POLNET, ICPSR, and SIENA Workshop—give younger scholars opportunities to acquire skills that may not be available at their home institutions.

                                        Classic Works

                                        The origins of social network analysis, both theoretical and methodological, lie in the disciplines of psychology, small group studies, anthropology, and sociology during the first half of the 20th century. Many new concepts, principles of structural relations, and mathematical applications can be found in a handful of key books and articles. To trace the emergence of social networks as a research perspective, these writings appear in chronological order. The first subsection, An Emerging Field, discusses foundational works, followed by The Field Matures, which describes subsequent publications that advanced social network ideas and methods.

                                        An Emerging Field

                                        Only in the first part of the 20th century did a handful of scholars begin to identify the relational forms and contents as distinct aspects of social structure. Although Georg Simmel never used the term social network, his ideas about micro-level structures were widely credited by later network scholars as inspiring small group research (see Simmel 1955). Fritz Heider and Kurt Lewin made influential theoretical contributions to social psychology of cognitive and interpersonal interactions (Heider 1946 and Lewin 1951). Bott 1928 and Moreno 1934 are pioneering works in data collection methods resembling modern graphic diagrams. Several works by ethnographers of organizations and communities developed or applied network concepts, including Roethlisberger and Dickson 1939, Warner and Lunt 1941, and Davis, et al. 1941. An early survey of voter choice, Lazarsfeld, et al. 1944, introduced social network concepts that unfortunately faded away in subsequent election research, only to reemerge decades later.

                                        • Bott, Helen McMurchie. 1928. Observations of play activities in a nursery school. Genetic Psychology Monographs 4:44–88.

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                                          Bott was the first researcher to use a matrix format to organize systematically recorded interactions made by observers of preschoolers, such as talking, interfering, and cooperating with one another. Helen Bott was the mother of Elizabeth Bott, a key member of the Manchester anthropologists.

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                                          • Davis, Allison, Burleigh B. Gardner, and Mary R. Gardner. 1941. Deep South: A social anthropological study of caste and class. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                            In this ethnography of “Old City,” colleagues of Warner map the internal structures of cliques as intersecting circles of core, primary, and secondary subgroups. A classic dataset of eighteen women participating in fourteen social events has been reanalyzed many times using new network methods.

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                                            • Heider, Fritz. 1946. Attitudes and cognitive organization. Journal of Psychology 21:107–112.

                                              DOI: 10.1080/00223980.1946.9917275Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              Heider develops a cognitive psychology that contributed to subsequent group dynamics research. His theory of balance among a person’s positive and negative attitudes toward other persons and objects influenced later studies of transitivity and closure in triads.

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                                              • Lazarsfeld, Paul F., Bernard R. Berelson, and Hazel Gaudet. 1944. The people’s choice: How the voter makes up his mind in a presidential election. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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                                                A sample survey of Erie County, Ohio, finds that the mass media of press and radio had relatively minor impacts on how people voted in the 1940 election. The greater importance of political discussion among friends and acquaintances led to the two-step flow model of communication developed by Katz and Lazarsfeld 1955 (cited under The Field Matures).

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                                                • Lewin, Kurt. 1951. Field theory in the social sciences: Selected theoretical papers. Edited by Dorwin Cartwright. New York: Harper.

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                                                  A pioneer social psychologist, Lewin views the social environment as a dynamic field interacting with individuals’ psychological states. He applies mathematical topological and set theories to investigate mutual influences between groups and the fields of social forces within which they are embedded. The forces acting on members are represented as paths connecting points. Lewin heavily influenced the development of small group research.

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                                                  • Moreno, J. L. 1934. Who shall survive? A new approach to the problem of human interrelations. Washington, DC: Nervous and Mental Disease.

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                                                    Moreno pioneered the psychotherapy of interpersonal relations in his investigations of small group structures. His major innovation is the sociogram, a diagram with individuals represented by points and their social relations by lines. Sociometric stars have many connections to others, indicating their popular, power, and influence within the group.

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                                                    • Roethlisberger, Fritz J., and William J. Dickson. 1939. Management and the worker: A account of a research program conducted by the Western Electric Company, Hawthorne Works, Chicago. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                      This early observational study of employee efficiency, in the Western Electric Company’s Hawthorne plant in Chicago, displays many sociograms of the informal relations among workers in a bank-wiring room, apparently created independently of Moreno’s methods. Researchers identify cliques—strongly connected subgroups—that differentiate workers in that unit.

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                                                      • Simmel, Georg. 1955. Conflict: The web of group-affiliations. Translated by Kurt H. Wolff. Edited by Reinhard Bendix. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.

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                                                        Simmel could be considered the godfather of social network analysis. The second essay, first published in 1922, theorizes about fundamental “sociation” processes, the types of interactions that connect individuals in varied forms and contents. Simmel’s emphasis on the number of interacting persons (dyads and triads) presages later research on network microstructures.

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                                                        • Warner, W. Lloyd, and Paul S. Lunt. 1941. The social life of a modern community. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press.

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                                                          This ethnography of a small New England town, “Yankee City,” reports numerous informal subgroups, or cliques, of people with intimate feelings and group norms. The structure of family relations and overlapping clique memberships “spreads out into a network of interrelations which integrate almost the entire population of a community in a single vast system of clique relations” (p. 111). Cliques are represented as a series of intersecting circles.

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                                                          The Field Matures

                                                          By the middle of the 20th century, network analysis established footholds in anthropology and sociology and slowly began to spread to other disciplines. Concepts, theories, and methods of data collection grew more sophisticated, and matrix algebraic methods of data analysis were formally introduced by Harary and Norman 1953. John Barnes (Barnes 1954) formulated the contemporary concept of a network as sets of lines connecting points. Other British anthropologists applied explicit network ideas, including Nadel’s role analysis using matrix algebra (Nadel 1957), Bott’s analysis of sex-role segregation among married couples (Bott 1957), and Mitchell’s studies of interpersonal networks in organizations and communities (Mitchell 1969). Mass communication researchers recognized the importance of the interpersonal ties in political and commercial advertising (Katz and Lazarsfeld 1955) and the diffusion of medical innovations (Coleman, et al. 1957). Sociological and social psychological studies of small group dynamics began to proliferate, in particular Homans 1951, a synthesis of research on interpersonal attraction, and Newcomb 1961, a longitudinal field study of the acquaintance process. The seedbed had been planted for the flowering of network theories and empirical research during the last quarter of the century.

                                                          • Barnes, J. A. 1954. Class and committees in a Norwegian island parish. Human Relations 7:39–58.

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                                                            Barnes, a major figure in the Manchester University anthropology department, is credited as the first analyst to refer to a set of points, some joined by lines, as forming a “total network” of relations. Informal relations are a “partial network” within a total network.

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                                                            • Bott, Elizabeth. 1957. Family and social network: Roles, norms, and external relationships in ordinary urban families. London: Tavistock.

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                                                              A Manchester anthropologist, Bott applies emerging network ideas to investigate the diverse kinship structures of British families. She demonstrates how the extent of sex-role segregation between wives’ and husbands’ networks affects their marital role performances.

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                                                              • Coleman, James, Elihu Katz, and Herbert Menzel. 1957. The diffusion of an innovation among physicians. Sociometry 20:253–270.

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                                                                Analyzes the adoption of a new drug by physicians in Midwestern cities by linking their prescription records to sociometric measures obtained in interviews. Doctors with many professional and friendship ties to the medical community are quickest to adopt the innovation. This pioneering study influenced subsequent research on network diffusion processes.

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                                                                • Harary, Frank, and Robert Z. Norman. 1953. Graph theory as a mathematical model in social science. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press.

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                                                                  A primer showing how matrix algebra and the visual representation of networks as diagrams of points and lines can be applied to analyze the structure of interpersonal relations in groups. With eventual implementation in computer programs, matrix algebra became a principle analytic tool providing social network analysis with rigorous methodologies.

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                                                                  • Homans, George C. 1951. The human group. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

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                                                                    Homans reanalyzes and synthesizes several small group studies by sociologists and anthropologists to illustrate his social psychological theory of interpersonal interaction and attraction. Homans subsequently contributed to exchange theory, a major theoretical strand within social network analysis.

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                                                                    • Katz, Elihu, and Paul F. Lazarsfeld. 1955. Personal influence: The part played by people in the flow of mass communications. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.

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                                                                      Possibly the most influential book on mass communication, it promotes the “two-step flow of communication” model, in which mass media messages first reach opinion leaders, who then explain and interpret it to their face-to-face contacts. Although frequently criticized for ignoring the substantial direct effects of mass-media commercial and political advertising, the model influenced subsequent research on network diffusion processes.

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                                                                      • Mitchell, J. Clyde, ed. 1969. Social networks in urban situations: Analyses of personal relationships in Central African towns. Manchester, UK: Manchester Univ. Press.

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                                                                        Integrating field studies by the Manchester anthropologists, Mitchell applies mathematical graph theory and sociometry to provide sociological explanations of informal interpersonal networks in work organizations and communities. In emphasizing the importance of both communication and resource exchange, Mitchell draws attention to multiple relations, which influenced later work on the identification of social role structures from multiplex network ties.

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                                                                        • Nadel, S. F. 1957. The theory of social structure. London: Cohen & West.

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                                                                          A British anthropologist, Nadel proposes that roles and role sets constitute social structures and can be rigorously analyzed using matrix algebra methods.

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                                                                          • Newcomb, Theodore M. 1961. The acquaintance process. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

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                                                                            In a field experiment, seventeen unacquainted men attending the University of Michigan in the fall of 1956 lived for free in an off-campus fraternity house in exchange for filling out fifteen weekly sociometric questionnaires about their friendships with one another. Newcomb finds that proximity, reciprocity, similarity, and complementary factors affect the friendship formation process. As one of the earliest longitudinal network studies, Newcomb’s fraternity dataset has been much reanalyzed.

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                                                                            Network Theories

                                                                            The articles and books in this section emphasize theoretical expositions of a variety of network perspectives, ranging from small groups exchanging tokens in highly controlled laboratory settings, to naturally occurring networks in communities and societies, to interorganizational collaborations among firms, and to the global network society. Several offer insightful summaries of past efforts and future directions for theorizing and researching these issues. The subsections below discuss theories applicable to Small and to Big networks, respectively.

                                                                            Small

                                                                            The network theories in this subsection apply to processes in relatively small, closed networks that either occur in natural social settings, such as the models of social influence in science communities in Friedkin 1998 and Katz, et al. 2004, an overview of small group theories, or they are artificially constructed for experimental manipulations to assess the effects of alternative network structures on individual or collective outcomes. Hummon and Doreian 2003 demonstrates the persistent vitality of Heider’s venerable balance theory and its adaptability to computer simulation. Network exchange theory (NET) comes in several flavors and inspires several competing research programs that collect experimental data in computer labs. Cook and Emerson 1978 began a tradition of laboratory experiments testing hypotheses about power in exchange networks, extended by Yamagishi, et al. 1988, Molm 2003, and numerous other investigators. Two very useful stock-taking overviews are Skvoretz and Fararo 1992 and Walker, et al. 2000.

                                                                            • Cook, Karen S., and Richard M. Emerson. 1978. Power, equity and commitment in exchange networks. American Sociological Review 43:721–739.

                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/2094546Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              Pioneering experimental study of exchange networks as bargaining structures in a controlled laboratory setting of fourteen same-sex eight-person groups. Cook and Emerson find bargaining power is a function of network position, constrained by equity or justice norms, and impeded by interpersonal commitments that differ by gender. This article instigated a tradition of experimental work on small group networks.

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                                                                              • Friedkin, Noah E. 1998. A structural theory of social influence. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511527524Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                Presents a formal network theory of social influence, which provides social-psychological and structural explanations for interpersonal agreements and the formation of consensus in small groups. Friedkin uses data on science communities to illustrate how to estimate structural parameters and interpersonal influence effects.

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                                                                                • Hummon, Norman P., and Patrick Doreian. 2003. Some dynamics of social balance processes: Bringing Heider back into balance theory. Social Networks 25:17–49.

                                                                                  DOI: 10.1016/S0378-8733(02)00019-9Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  Reviews the long history of Heider’s balance theory and subsequent empirical research, noting a divergence between studies of dyads and triples from the structure of the whole group, both yielding inconsistent findings. Hummon and Doreian propose and demonstrate a theoretical model for social balance using agent-based computer simulation. Although the minutiae occasionally divert attention from the main narrative, Hummon and Doreian revitalize both the theoretical and empirical components of a prominent tradition.

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                                                                                  • Katz, Nancy, David Lazer, Holly Arrow, and Noshir Contractor. 2004. Network theory and small groups. Small Group Research 35:307–332.

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                                                                                    Provides an insightful review of alternative network perspectives on small groups, including self-interest, social-exchange or dependency, cognitive, and homophily theories. Summarizes empirical research and suggests new directions.

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                                                                                    • Molm, Linda D. 2003. Theoretical comparisons of forms of exchange. Sociological Theory 21:1–17.

                                                                                      DOI: 10.1111/1467-9558.00171Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      Discusses how the forms of exchange in networks—negotiated or reciprocal—affect assumptions and processes in contemporary exchange theories. Molm proposes three key dimensions distinguishing both forms of exchange and describes her research program. She underscores the need for theorists and experimentalist to pay attention to a full range of exchange forms. This thoughtful programmatic statement points to new directions in small-group network analysis.

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                                                                                      • Skvoretz, John, and Thomas J. Fararo. 1992. Power and network exchange: An essay toward theoretical unification. Social Networks 14:325–344.

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                                                                                        A highly informative lead article in a special issue that situates network exchange research on power development in the historical contexts of neoclassical economics and network social structure. Skvoretz and Fararo suggests how theoretical unification among alternative approaches might be accomplished. An admirable stock-taking of a fertile theoretical tradition and guidepost to future directions.

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                                                                                        • Walker, Henry A., Shane R. Thye, Brent Simpson, Michael J. Lovaglia, David Willer, and Barry Markovsky. 2000. Network exchange theory: Recent developments and new directions. Social Psychology Quarterly 63:324–337.

                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/2695843Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          A summing up by major contributors of the key developments from more than two decades of network exchange theory, including basic network connections, structural power conditions affecting exchange ratios, game theory enhancements, and links to status characteristics theory. This article is good introduction to the voluminous literature on NET.

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                                                                                          • Yamagishi, Toshio, Mary R. Gillmore, and Karen S. Cook. 1988. Network connection and the distribution of power in exchange networks. American Journal of Sociology 93:833–851.

                                                                                            DOI: 10.1086/228826Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            Extends power-dependence theory, pioneered by Cook and Emerson 1978, to predict the distribution of power in differently structured exchange networks. It reports results of several laboratory experiments on college students and computer simulations, which reveal how positive, negative, and mixed connections affect network power. This article is an excellent exemplar of an extensive theoretical and research tradition that investigates power and resource effects in small, artificially constructed networks.

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                                                                                            Big

                                                                                            The diverse social network theories in this subsection apply to larger-scale systems observed in natural settings. Long before the Internet, Milgram 1967 drew public attention to the curious possibility that we’re all just a few links away from one another; the implications are still being sorted out today. Granovetter 1973 and Granovetter 1985 are two widely cited articles that greatly influenced the contemporary emergence of both social network analysis and economic sociology as well-regarded specialties within sociology. Emirbayer 1997 is a manifesto that favorably contrasts the merits of structural-relational perspectives, including social network analysis, with problems in the dominant essentialist and variable-centric views held by most sociologists. Although Monge and Contractor 2003 proposes an integration of communication network theories, the authors’ paradigm could readily apply to many other substantive fields. Organization theorists who examine network processes are exemplified by the explanation of interfirm collaborations in Ring and Van de Ven 1994 and by the general theory of network governance in Jones, et al. 1997. Pescosolido and Rubin 2000 discusses how network principles suffuse theories of modernization, whether aimed at micro- and meso-levels of analysis, while Castells 2000 argues the same at the global level.

                                                                                            • Castells, Manuel. 2000. Materials for an exploratory theory of the network society. British Journal of Sociology 51:5–24.

                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/000713100358408Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              Castells, author of an acclaimed multivolume treatise on the global network society, compactly outlines a prototheory in this article. He argues that the fundamental feature of social structure in the Information Age is reliance on networks, powered by information and communication technologies, that cope with “flexible decentralization and focused decision making.” His big-picture perspective lacks details and testable hypotheses, yet draws provocative attention to many grand themes.

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                                                                                              • Emirbayer, Mustafa. 1997. Manifesto for a relational sociology. American Journal of Sociology 103:281–317.

                                                                                                DOI: 10.1086/231209Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                Lays out a compelling case that structural-relational theories, which include network dynamics, offer a robust alternative to the dominant theoretical explanations in sociology, such as those based on substances, rational choice, norms, and statistical variable analysis. Although network scholars accept all of those principles, this manifesto elegantly challenges sociologists in other traditions to take relational perspectives seriously.

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                                                                                                • Granovetter, Mark S. 1973. The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology 78:1360–1380.

                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1086/225469Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  A citation classic, Granovetter’s article introduces a conceptual conundrum that people rely less on their strong ties (time, emotional intensity, intimacy, reciprocity) than on their weak-tie relations to find information at great distances from their subgroups. The phrase “strength of weak ties” resonates in many disciplines, and with the general public, as a key network idea.

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                                                                                                  • Granovetter, Mark. 1985. Economic action and social structure: The problem of embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology 91:481–510.

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1086/228311Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    In another citation classic, Granovetter helps to revitalize economic sociology, recasting its core concern as explaining how economic actions are embedded in structures of social relations in modern socities. Social networks in organizations, communities, and markets are crucial to creating a sophisticated account of economic action that is missing from mainstream economic theory.

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                                                                                                    • Jones, Candace, William S. Hesterly, and Stephen P. Borgatti. 1997. A general theory of network governance: Exchange conditions and social mechanisms. Academy of Management Review 22:911–945.

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                                                                                                      Proposes an integrated theory, using transaction-cost economics and social network theory, to explain the origin of network forms of governance among firms, in contrast to market and hierarchy solutions. Network governance arises from exchange conditions of asset specificity, demand uncertainty, task complexity, and frequency, which drive firms to use social mechanisms to coordinate and safeguard exchanges. This article contributed to the growing interest in interorganizational networks in organization studies.

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                                                                                                      • Milgram, Stanley. 1967. The small world problem. Psychology Today 1:60–67.

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                                                                                                        In this famous experiment (but not as infamous as his obedience-to-authority study), Milgram uses a lost-letter technique to discover how many direct connections are needed to send a package from Omaha to Boston. Although criticized for methodological flaws, Milgram’s findings led to the widely circulating phrase “six degrees of separation.”

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                                                                                                        • Monge, Peter R., and Noshir S. Contractor. 2003. Theories of communication networks. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                          Proposes a multitheoretical, multilevel (MTML) framework for integrating network theories that explain the emergence of communication networks. Chapters cover self-interest, mutual interest and collective action, cognition, contagion, and coevolution. Monge and Contractor argue that only efforts to integrate them can produce a comprehensive account. This ambitious programmatic statement contains numerous creative insights that could shape future research on communication and other networks.

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                                                                                                          • Pescosolido, Bernice A., and Beth A. Rubin. 2000. The web of group affiliations revisited: Social life, postmodernism, and sociology. American Sociological Review 65:52–76.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/2657289Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            Simmel’s enduring impact was depicting network evolution as a transition from premodern concentric social circles to modern intersecting circles. Pescosolido and Rubin propose a third form, the spoke structure, comprising distinct social circles interconnected in varying intensities. Their brief histories of serious mental illness and homelessness show how the three forms evolved. This brilliant essay demonstrates how to synthesize too-often competing structuralist and personalistic perspectives.

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                                                                                                            • Ring, Peter Smith, and Andrew H. Van de Ven. 1994. Developmental processes of cooperative interorganizational relationships. Academy of Management Review 19:90–118.

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                                                                                                              A theoretical exposition of the development of interorganizational relations, such as joint ventures and strategic alliances, from transaction-specific exchanges that neither partner fully controls. Ring and Van de Ven offer propositions about the social-psychological, legal, and organizational factors shaping the negotiation, implementation, and dissolution of collaborative agreements between firms. This article importantly contributed to rapidly expanding theorizing and research on interorganizational relations in organization studies.

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                                                                                                              Measures, Methods, and Models

                                                                                                              These articles and books introduce or systematically present important new ways to measure and analyze aspects of social networks, primarily by manipulating binary or valued matrices of actor-to-actor directed or nondirected ties. Several works stimulated subsequent flurries of substantive research applications. Many of these techniques are routinely taught to aspiring social network students. The subsections below describe methods for Structural Equivalence and Blockmodels and for Centrality and Cohesion, respectively.

                                                                                                              Structural Equivalence and Blockmodels

                                                                                                              The 1970s work by Harrison White and his students on block-model analysis of structurally equivalent positions in networks was the major spur to greater methodological rigor in the emerging social network analysis subfield within sociology. Lorrain and White 1971 lays out the mathematical criteria of structural equivalence, while a linked pair of articles, White, et al. 1976 and Boorman and White 1976, demonstrate the application of blockmodel procedures on substantive examples. Burt 1987 argues the advantages of structural equivalence over social cohesion in explaining competition among the occupants of network positions. Boyd 1991 and Pattison 1993 are advanced texts that systematize blockmodel, structural equivalence, role algebra, and related network methods.

                                                                                                              • Boorman, Scott A., and Harrison C. White. 1976. Social structure from multiple networks, II: Role structures. American Journal of Sociology 81:1384–1446.

                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1086/226228Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                This second in a pair of classic articles (along with White, et al. 1976) shows how to use the image matrices to conduct role algebra analyses of the social positions identified as relations among blocks. This article is the more difficult of the two to follow, and the complexity of role algebra may be the main reason it never caught on in substantive social network analysis.

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                                                                                                                • Boyd, John Paul. 1991. Social semigroups: A unified theory of scaling and blockmodelling as applied to social networks. Fairfax, VA: George Mason Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                  The theory of semigroups is an application of algebraic structures to social relations. Boyd reviews the theory and its applications to constructing blockmodels of structurally equivalent actors and modeling relational systems such as kinship. The formidable notation makes this book unsuitable for novices.

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                                                                                                                  • Burt, Ronald S. 1987. Social contagion and innovation: Cohesion versus structural equivalence. American Journal of Sociology 92:1287–1335.

                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1086/228667Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    An early proponent of structural equivalence methods for identifying jointly occupied network positions, Burt argues that this concept provides a better explanation of the diffusion of innovations than contrasting approaches emphasizing social cohesion. Reanalysis of Coleman, et al.’s Medical innovation: A diffusion study (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1966) dataset supports the argument; however, other scholars who subsequently reanalyzed these data drew differing conclusions.

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                                                                                                                    • Lorrain, François, and Harrison C. White 1971. Structural equivalence of individuals in social networks. Journal of Mathematical Sociology 1:49–80.

                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1080/0022250X.1971.9989788Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      A seminal article on the mathematical theory of networks; draws on White’s earlier algebraic analysis of kinship systems. Demonstrates how to identify a dyad jointly occupying a position, or social role, based on their patterns of direct ties to all other network members. Along with the two 1976 blockmodel articles coauthored by White (White, et al. 1976 and Boorman and White 1976), this article helped to spur the rapid advances in network theory and research in sociology over the subsequent four decades.

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                                                                                                                      • Pattison, Philippa. 1993. Algebraic models for social networks. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511571220Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        A comprehensive treatment of algebraic representations of complete and local social networks, with an emphasis on role algebras, semigroups, and homomorphisms. Numerous examples reanalyze famous datasets. The accessible writing makes Pattison’s volume a natural text for an advanced social networks course.

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                                                                                                                        • White, Harrison C., Scott A. Boorman, and Ronald L. Breiger. 1976. Social structure from multiple networks, I: Blockmodels of roles and positions. American Journal of Sociology 81:730–780.

                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1086/226141Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          This first in a pair of classic articles (along with Boorman and White 1976) popularizes structural equivalence concepts of jointly occupied positions, or social roles, and explains how to use blockmodel methods to reduce large, multiple-network datasets to simpler image matrices.

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                                                                                                                          Centrality and Cohesion

                                                                                                                          These articles present some widely used measures of network social structures. Freeman’s two pieces on centrality (Freeman 1977, Freeman 1979) and Bonacich 1987, on the link of centrality to network power, present fundamental concepts that every neophyte should understand. Moody and White 2003 reinvigorates the concept and measurement of social cohesion, after its long eclipse by structural equivalence approaches championed by White, Burt, and others. Actor-oriented models for investigating changes in network structure (Snijders, et al. 2010) are gaining attention and use, as more researchers increasingly collect over-time network data.

                                                                                                                          • Bonacich, Phillip. 1987. Power and centrality: A family of measures. American Journal of Sociology 92:1170–1182.

                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1086/228631Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            Bonacich generalizes the concept of centrality to account for the usual positive covariation of power and centrality, and for contrary findings in restricted exchange networks. The β parameter reflects how an individual’s status is a simultaneous function of the statuses of others to whom he or she is connected. It has become known as “Bonacich power.”

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                                                                                                                            • Freeman, Linton C. 1977. A set of measures of centrality based on betweenness. Sociometry 40:35–41.

                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/3033543Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              In this first in a pair of articles, Freeman discusses the classic trio of structural centrality concepts (degree, closeness, betweenness) and three measures for each concept. One of them is now usually called “Freeman betweenness” in his honor.

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                                                                                                                              • Freeman, Linton C. 1979. Centrality in social networks: Conceptual clarification. Social Networks 1:215–239.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1016/0378-8733(78)90021-7Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                In this second in a pair of articles (along with Freeman 1977), Freeman goes deeper into nuances among alternative concepts and measures of network centrality.

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                                                                                                                                • Moody, James, and Douglas R. White. 2003. Structural cohesion and embeddedness: A hierarchical concept of social groups. American Sociological Review 68:103–127.

                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/3088904Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  Measures network cohesion as the minimum number of actors that, if removed, disconnect a graph into subgroups. Structural embeddedness can be defined and measured by the hierarchical nesting of such cohesive structures. Moody and White apply their methods to high school friendships and interlocking corporate directorates. This article counterbalances many network analysts’ fixation on structural equivalence, and likely will open new substantive research directions.

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                                                                                                                                  • Snijders, Tom A. B., Gerhard G. van de Bunt, and Christian E. G. Steglich. 2010. Introduction to stochastic actor-based models for network dynamics. Social Networks 32:44–60.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1016/j.socnet.2009.02.004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    A convenient overview of methods for analyzing longitudinal networks developed by Snijders and colleagues. In an actor-oriented model, social actors play a crucial role in changing their ties to other actors. The methods are implemented on the computer package SIENA, based on Markov chain assumptions, which are more applicable to relations and behaviors regarded as states rather than transitory events. A comprehensive text on the project may be in preparation.

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                                                                                                                                    Kin, Friends, Community

                                                                                                                                    The earliest social network analyses were conducted by anthropologists and sociologists in small social systems, such as classrooms, neighborhoods, and villages. This research tradition continues in contemporary studies of friendship such as Hallinan 1979 and Feld 1991. DiMaggio and Louch 1998 finds substantial embeddedness of consumer choice in social networks, while Wellman 1979 demonstrates that diverse networks suffuse urban communities in unexpected ways. Marsden 1987 identifies intimate egocentric networks in Americans’ discussion of important matters, and Bian 1997 shows how Chinese job seekers use strong personal connections to locate work. Bearman, et al 2004 finds adolescent romantic networks implicated in the transmission of sexual disease, while Fowler and Christakis 2008 suggests happiness diffuses via network links. Padgett and Ansell 1993 shows that sometimes historical and archival data can be used to reconstruct micro-level social networks of the past.

                                                                                                                                    • Bearman, Peter S., James Moody, and Katherine Stovel. 2004. Chains of affection: The structure of adolescent romantic and sexual networks. American Journal of Sociology 110:44–91.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1086/386272Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      Examines romantic and sexual partnerships among eight hundred adolescents in a midsized US Midwestern city (Add Health dataset). The researchers find longer contact chains and fewer cycles than expected in a simulated network using the observed-tie distribution. They discuss micro-level mechanisms generating such structural features and implications for transmitting sexual diseases. This network approach contrasts with conventional epidemiological models’ assumptions about interpersonal contacts in spreading epidemics.

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                                                                                                                                      • Bian, Yanjie. 1997. Bringing strong ties back in: Indirect ties, network bridges, and job searches in China. American Sociological Review 62:366–385.

                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.2307/2657311Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        Examines how job seekers using social connections (guanxi) obtained employment during China’s early transition to a market economy. Survey data from one city show many people lacked direct ties to high-level authorities and resorted to strong-tie connections, such as relatives and close friends, to find a job-control agent who could help them make a successful job search. An outstanding exemplar of a substantial literature on guanxi relations.

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                                                                                                                                        • DiMaggio, Paul, and Hugh Louch. 1998. Socially embedded consumer transactions: For what kinds of purchases do people most often use networks? American Sociological Review 63:619–637.

                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/2657331Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          Makes a substantial step toward a network theory that explains socially embedded consumption of big-ticket purchases, such as autos, houses, and maintenance services. Using General Social Survey data, DiMaggio and Louch examine how consumers use their social relations to identify and assess potential transaction partners. People tend to embed transactions in preexisting social relations when the risk of seller opportunism, such as concealing information about product defects, is higher.

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                                                                                                                                          • Feld, Scott L. 1991. Why your friends have more friends than you do. American Journal of Sociology 96:1464–1477.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1086/229693Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            Using friendship data from twelve high schools in James Coleman’s Adolescent Society (New York: Free Press, 1961), Feld demonstrates mathematically why the mean number of friends of friends is always greater than the mean number of friends of individuals, a “class size paradox” that extends to such diverse phenomena as crowded parks and beaches.

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                                                                                                                                            • Fowler, James H., and Nicholas A. Christakis. 2008. Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study. BMJ 337:a2338.

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                                                                                                                                              Happy and unhappy people tend to cluster in networks, with happiness extending up to three degrees of separation. Longitudinal analyses indicate that happiness clusters result from diffusion, not selection. The authors conclude that happiness, like health, is a collective process.

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                                                                                                                                              • Hallinan, Maureen T. 1979. Structural effects on children’s friendships and cliques. Social Psychology Quarterly 42:43–54.

                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.2307/3033872Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                Using sociometric data on sixty-two school grades, Hallinan finds class size, classroom organization, and age effects on friendship choice and clique formation. Larger classes seem more conducive to friendliness and sociability, as do traditional classrooms compared to open classroom structures. Hallinan and her collaborators made several noteworthy contributions to network analysis in the sociology of education.

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                                                                                                                                                • Marsden, Peter V. 1987. Core discussion networks of Americans. American Sociological Review 52:122–131.

                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/2095397Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  Name-generator questions in the 1985 General Social Survey provide the first national survey data on Americans’ egocentric networks. They tend to be small, kin-centered, relatively dense, and homogeneous. Network range is greatest among young, highly educated, and urban respondents. Sex differences mainly reflect differences in kin and nonkin network composition.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Padgett, John F., and Christopher K. Ansell. 1993. Robust action and the rise of the Medici, 1400–1434. American Journal of Sociology 98:1259–1319.

                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1086/230190Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    The Medici family rose to political power in Renaissance Florence, Italy, by spanning network gaps among the city elites. The authors apply blockmodel analysis to uncover the marriage, economic, political, and friendship ties among ninety-two Florentine families. Cosimo de’ Medici’s connections enabled him to occupy the central position and to broker deals among competing factions. An excellent example of how to extend network principles to other disciplines.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Wellman, Barry. 1979. The community question: The intimate networks of East Yorkers. American Journal of Sociology 84:1201–1231.

                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1086/226906Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      Examines how large-scale social structures affect intimate primary ties, using a survey of adults in the East York neighborhood of Toronto. Egocentric networks are sparse, composed of both kin and nonkin, asymmetric, and diffused outside the community of residence. The data are consistent with both “community liberated” and “community saved” arguments, but refute a “community lost” model. Demonstrates the applicability of network analysis to investigate urban and suburban social life.

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                                                                                                                                                      Social Capital

                                                                                                                                                      Economists built their discipline on market exchanges of financial capital, and a few extended that approach to human capital as knowledge gained from education and work experience. Sociologists, political scientists, and other disciplines added social capital as a third type, in which people with connections to others who possess valuable resources may obtain advantages in competitive situations. Analytic concepts of brokerage, network closure, and structural holes provide a toolkit for dissecting the social dimensions of economic activity. Pierre Bourdieu is generally considered the intellectual godfather of social (and cultural) capital (Bourdieu 1986), but James Coleman, Nan Lin and Ronald Burt (Coleman 1988, Lin 2001, Burt 1992) give the concept a distinctly network treatment. Numerous substantive exemplars of social capital analysis abound, including work relations (Fernandez, et al. 2000), job satisfaction (Flap and Völker 2001), and teams (Reagans and Zuckerman 2001). While usually assumed to be wholly benign, social capital has a seldom-acknowledged dark side, enmeshing people in detrimental webs of reciprocity, obligation, and constraint (Gargiulo and Benassi 2000).

                                                                                                                                                      • Bourdieu, Pierre. 1986. The forms of capital. In Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education. Edited by John G. Richardson, 241–258. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

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                                                                                                                                                        A renowned public intellectual, Bourdieu articulates the concept of cultural capital: knowledge, skills, and education that confer social status. This essay extends his typology to social capital, the aggregate of resources to which people are linked in a durable network of acquaintance and recognition. Bourdieu is considered the inspiration for subsequent network treatments of social capital.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Burt, Ronald S. 1992. Structural holes: The social structure of competition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                          Explicates the social capital concept to distinguish the structure of relations from the quantity of ties. Structural holes are relational gaps between diverse, competitive subgroups, which some actors can fill and thereby extract benefits by brokering and controlling information and resource flows between the subgroups. Burt demonstrates his theory with numerous compelling examples. The writing and mathematical notation can be difficult, but the payoffs in insights are well worth the effort.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Coleman, James S. 1988. Social capital in the creation of human capital. American Journal of Sociology 94:S95–S121.

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                                                                                                                                                            Emphasizes a cohesive version of network social capital with collective benefits, contrasting with Burt’s focus on individual gains through exploiting structural holes. Instead of playing competitive subgroups off against one another for personal advantage, cooperative community norms and obligations are strengthened by network closure, featuring numerous inclusive connections. A negative illustration is school dropouts whose families and communities lack sufficient social capital to support their struggles to graduate.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Fernandez, Roberto M., Emilio J. Castilla, and Paul Moore. 2000. Social capital at work: Networks and employment at a phone center. American Journal of Sociology 105:1288–1356.

                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1086/210432Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              Employers who hire new workers through employee referrals are making use of their employees’ social capital to build a better workforce. The authors uncover the specific mechanisms used by a large US bank’s customer service center to achieve significant economic returns on investment in worker social capital.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Flap, Henk, and Beate Völker. 2001. Goal specific social capital and job satisfaction: Effects of different types of networks on instrumental and social aspects of work. Social Networks 23:297–320.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1016/S0378-8733(01)00044-2Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                Specifies the conditions where differing types of social relations lead to job satisfaction in two Dutch governmental agencies. Work-related ties improve employee satisfaction with work matters, and closed solidary ties enhance satisfaction with social aspects of the job. But a bow-tie network (where a worker belongs to mutually exclusive cliques) generally induces dissatisfaction. Underscores the importance of distinguishing between network content and network structure.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Gargiulo, Martin, and Mario Benassi. 2000. Trapped in your own net? Network cohesion, structural holes, and the adaptation of social capital. Organization Science 11:183–196.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1287/orsc.11.2.183.12514Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  Attempts to adjudicate the Coleman-Burt debate over social capital (closure and structural holes, respectively), by testing theoretical predictions with data from an Italian multinational computer subsidiary. Managers with cohesive communication networks were less adaptable when assigned to a new business unit, in contrast to managers whose networks were rich in structural holes. Intriguing findings, which should be replicated in diverse social systems before the debate can be considered settled.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Lin, Nan. 2001. Social capital: A theory of social structure and action. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Consistent with Coleman and Burt, Lin defines social capital as the resources an actor has through social relations. His theoretical propositions apply to social mobility in a hierarchically stratified social system, such as finding a better job through social connections. A well-written exposition that is highly accessible by network apprentices.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Reagans, Ray, and Ezra W. Zuckerman. 2001. Networks, diversity, and productivity: The social capital of corporate R&D teams. Organization Science 12:502–517.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Tests hypotheses about the negative effect of social network density and the positive effect of demographic heterogeneity on work productivity. Analyses of data on 224 R&D teams in twenty-nine corporations show that both network variables significantly affected team productivity. The authors argue that the diversity-performance debate should be recast around network dynamics more proximate to team outcomes.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Intraorganizational Networks

                                                                                                                                                                      When organization scholars discovered network analysis in the 1980s, they moved rapidly to import this perspective into their research on employees, managers, executives, work teams, promotion, productivity, performance, and many other facets of behavior inside organizations. The network contents most often examined include working-with, friendship, mentoring, advising, assisting, and trusting relations. Case studies of single organizations predominate, although occasionally comparative research projects are conducted. Tichy and Fombrun 1979 and Barney 1985 provide early theoretical arguments and programmatic statements about the value of network analysis for organization studies. Exemplary substantive applications involve work and friendship ties (Lincoln and Miller 1979), technological innovation and power (Burkhardt and Brass 1990), gender differences (Ibarra 1992), and trust relations (Krackhardt and Hanson 1993, Wittek 2001). Both Krackhardt 1999, a study of a small high-tech company, and Mizruchi and Stearns 2001, research on a multinational bank, uncover paradoxical dimensions to the strength of employee ties.

                                                                                                                                                                      • Barney, Jay B. 1985. Dimensions of informal social network structure: Toward a contingency theory of informal relations in organizations. Social Networks 7:1–46.

                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1016/0378-8733(85)90007-3Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        One of the earlier efforts to integrate social network methods with organizational theory—in this instance contingency theories of formal organization in relation to informal relations. This and other articles helped to spur the rapid spread of network ideas into business, management, and organizational consulting.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Burkhardt, Marlene E., and Daniel J. Brass. 1990. Changing patterns or patterns of change: The effects of a change in technology on social network structure and power. Administrative Science Quarterly 35:104–127.

                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/2393552Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          Analyzes diffusion of a computer system within a federal agency, using network data from eighty-one employees before and after installation. Persons who reduce uncertainty for others gain in centrality and power, indicating the possibility for structural change and power redistribution at the organizational level. Despite the absence of a control group, this article shows the potency of network methods for identifying key power players in organizational change.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Ibarra, Herminia. 1992. Homophily and differential returns: Sex differences in network structure and access in an advertising firm. Administrative Science Quarterly 37:422–447.

                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/2393451Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            Demonstrates how network mechanisms sustain gender inequality in an advertising and public relations firm. Ibarra shows that men form more and stronger homophilous ties across multiple networks. But women’s networks are differentiated in obtaining social support and friendship from other women, and instrumental help from ties to men. Men gain greater returns than women from their network investments. An outstanding contribution to research on gender roles inside organizations.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Lincoln, James R., and Jon Miller. 1979. Work and friendship ties in organizations: A comparative analysis of relational networks. Administrative Science Quarterly 24:181–199.

                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/2392493Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              Lincoln and Miller examine the employee attributes associated with dyad proximities in instrumental (work-with) and primary (friendship) relations in five professional organizations. Race and gender have stronger effects on primary ties, while authority and education covary more with instrumental ties in two organizations. Unexpected finding of center-periphery pattern in friendships suggests that organizations constrain those choices to resemble work relations.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Krackhardt, David. 1999. The ties that torture: Simmelian tie analysis in organizations. Research in the Sociology of Organizations 16:183–210.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Contrasts Burt’s structural hole predictions with Simmel’s overlapping circle hypothesis, where persons belonging to cliques with opposing norms experience discomforting cross pressures. Serendipitously, Krackhardt collected network data from a small firm that later faced a unionization drive, during which a popular employee caught in Simmelian friendship cliques withdrew from the conflict. This article contributes both a novel network construct and a gripping dramatic anecdote to intraorganizational theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Krackhardt, David, and Jeffrey R. Hanson. 1993. Informal networks: The company behind the chart. Harvard Business Review 71.4 (July–August): 104–111.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Written for practitioners, this piece urges businesspeople to learn the art of diagramming their company’s advice, trust, and communication networks. Based on employee responses to network questionnaires, those maps can help managers to diagnose and solve interpersonal problems that hinder firm performance. A highly accessible popularization of intraorganizational network principles, its subtle Big Brother undertone stems from viewing the workplace only from management’s perspective.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Mizruchi, Mark S., and Linda Brewster Stearns. 2001. Getting deals done: The use of social networks in bank decision-making. American Sociological Review 66:647–671.

                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.2307/3088952Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                    A leading multinational commercial bank gave social researchers access to its employees, and this article finds support for two paradoxical hypotheses: bankers rely on strong ties to colleagues for advice and support in their deals, but relatively sparse, nonhierarchical approval networks are conducive to successful deal closure. Mizruchi and Stearns argue that the paradox is an instance of the unanticipated consequences of intended rational actions.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tichy, Noel, and Charles Fombrun. 1979. Network analysis in organizational settings. Human Relations 32:923–965.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1177/001872677903201103Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      An early application of network analysis to study informal coalitions in organizations. Using the classic Aston datasets, Tichy and Fombrun find support for the hypothesis that task-oriented coalitions emerge in loosely structured organic organizations, while coalitions in more mechanistic organizations are affective and supportive of individuals. This article helps to shorten the path distance for diffusing network analysis into organization studies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Wittek, Rafael. 2001. Mimetic trust and intra-organizational network dynamics. Journal of Mathematical Sociology 25:109–138.

                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/0022250X.2001.9990246Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                        Presents three hypotheses about uncertainty reduction in intraorganizational trustworthiness. Neoinstitutional theory posits that employees imitate the trust behaviors of others occupying similar social positions in a network (mimesis). Wittek finds support for two hypotheses (mimetic and advisory trust) in blockmodel and log-linear analyses of data on trust among twenty-five salesmen in a North American retail store in the 1950s. Points the way toward more rigorous treatment of trust relations inside organizations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        Organizational Learning and Innovation Diffusion

                                                                                                                                                                                        Organizational learning, knowledge transfer, research and development (R&D), and the diffusion of innovation are important subdisciplines within organization studies. Network analyses of these issues emerged over the past two decades, involving both individual and organizational levels of analysis. Although not yet the dominant approach, network analysis continues to make important contributions to understanding these crucial intra- and interorganizational processes. Beeby and Booth 2000 describes the multiple levels at which network-based learning occurs. Borgatti and Cross 2003 shows how knowledge transfer occurs among scientists engaged in information-seeking activities, while Reagans and McEvily 2003 reveals the importance of networks for knowledge-sharing in R&D teams. Khanna, et al. 1998 discusses how strategic alliances provide partnering firms with opportunities to learn from one another. Liebeskind, et al. 1996 shows that flexible informal ties boost learning in new biotech alliances, while Beckman and Haunschild 2002 demonstrates that firms learn vicariously from their partners’ acquisition experiences. In a pioneering text on the diffusion and adoption of innovations, Rogers 1962 develops a model involving network components, which Valente 1995 formalizes and importantly extends. Weimann 1982 reports that marginal persons may serve as communication bridges that integrate otherwise disconnected network subgroups

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Beckman, Christine M., and Pamela R. Haunschild. 2002. Network learning: The effects of partners’ heterogeneity of experience on corporate acquisitions. Administrative Science Quarterly 47:92–124.

                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/3094892Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          Proposes and tests a model of corporate acquisitions in which firms learn from their network partners’ acquisition experiences. An acquiring firm pays a lower acquisition premium when its partners have heterogeneous prior premium experiences, have completed deals of diverse sizes, possess unique information, and vary in organizational size. The authors explicate how interorganizational network structures affect the quality of interorganizational learning.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Beeby, Mick, and Charles Booth. 2000. Networks and inter-organizational learning: A critical review. Learning Organization 7:75–88.

                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1108/09696470010316260Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            An overview of theory and research on knowledge management and organizational learning that emphasizes networks, alliances, and interorganizational relations at multiple levels of analysis. A good piece for catching up on early developments in organizational learning from a network perspective.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Borgatti, Stephen P., and Rob Cross. 2003. A relational view of information seeking and learning in social networks. Management Science 49:432–445.

                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.49.4.432.14428Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                              Drawing from transactive-memory and organizational learning theories, Borgatti and Cross propose a model of information seeking and test it with data on research scientists in two organizations. The evidence is consistent with hypotheses that seeking information is a function of knowing and valuing what others know, having access to their thinking, and perceiving the search costs to be low. An insightful illustration of theory-guided intraorganizational network analysis.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Khanna, Tarun, Ranjay Gulati, and Nitin Nohria. 1998. The dynamics of learning alliances: Competition, cooperation, and relative scope. Strategic Management Journal 19:193–210.

                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0266(199803)19:3<193::AID-SMJ949>3.0.CO;2-CSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                Strategic alliances among firms range from cooperative to competitive learning purposes. Competition is greatest when private benefit incentives exceed common inducements, and the opportunities that a firm faces outside an alliance affect its actions inside the alliance. The authors convincingly blend a rational choice, resource-based view and strategic learning theories to create a framework for understanding how partners can structure an alliance to achieve optimal benefits for all participants.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Liebeskind, Julia Porter, Amalya Lumerman Oliver, Lynne Zucker, and Marilynn B. Brewer. 1996. Social networks, learning, and flexibility: Sourcing scientific knowledge in new biotechnology firms. Organization Science 74:428–442.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1287/orsc.7.4.428Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Biotech industries are rife with interorganizational relations involving information and knowledge exchanges. This study of new biotech firms (NBFs) examines collaborations with scientists at other organizations, particularly universities, yet those boundary-spanning networks are rarely governed by formal contracts. Flexible informal ties among NBF dyads enhance organizational learning beyond the capabilities of insular hierarchical organizations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Reagans, Ray, and Bill McEvily. 2003. Network structure and knowledge transfer: The effects of cohesion and range. Administrative Science Quarterly 48:240–267.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.2307/3556658Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Argues that both socially cohesive relations and network range increase individual willingness to share knowledge with others and convey complex ideas to diverse audience. Reagans and McEvily analyze data from an R&D firm that show cohesion and range improve knowledge transfer across structural holes. A tour de force exposition with important implications for knowledge diffusion and social capital theories.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Rogers, Everett M. 1962. Diffusion of innovations. New York: Free Press of Glencoe.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      The citation-classic on innovation diffusion, emphasizing communication channels in a social system, such as a community or an organization. Through five editions, Rogers synthesizes multidisciplinary research to generate an innovation-adoption stage model with important network components.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Valente, Thomas W. 1995. Network models of the diffusion of innovations. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        Explicates how network properties influence innovation diffusion. People may adopt innovations based on their direct ties to others or their structural positions within a network. Valente’s clearly written text renders complex ideas and measures accessible to students and researchers.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Weimann, Gabriel. 1982. On the importance of marginality: One more step into the two-step flow of communication. American Sociological Review 47:764–773.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/2095212Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Modifies the two-step model of communication flow to identify marginally located persons who serve a micro-macro bridging function between subgroups. Using evidence from an Israeli kibbutz, Weimann creatively ties together balance, intransitivity, and strength-of-ties concepts to reveal how marginal actors may actually integrate a social network.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Interorganizational Relations

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Organizations have numerous economic, social, and political relations with one another, which are readily amenable to network analysis. Firms, nonprofits, voluntary associations, and government agencies compete, collaborate, support, and fight one another, often in coalition with other organizations. Understanding the formal and informal mechanisms that govern these diverse interorganizational relations and the evolution of large network structures remains a key theoretical and substantive task. Mizruchi and Stearns 1988 exemplifies a long tradition of analyzing interlocking boards of directors to reveal the US corporate power structure, while Lincoln, et al. 1992 extends the approach to Japanese business groups. Larson 1992 is a rare ethnographic study of interorganizational project collaborations. Gulati 1995, Ahuja 2000, and Powell, et al. 2005 typify more quantitative approaches to the evolution of joint ventures and strategic alliances. Uzzi 1996 marks an innovative step toward integrating embeddedness and network structure concepts. Networks among nonprofit organizations and government social service agencies receive overdue attention from Provan and Milward 1995 and Galaskiewicz and Bielefeld 1998.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Ahuja, Gautam. 2000. Collaboration networks, structural holes, and innovation: A longitudinal study. Administrative Science Quarterly 45:425–455.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/2667105Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Examines how a firm’s egocentric network affects innovation. Longitudinal data from the international chemicals industry supports hypotheses that direct and indirect ties increase innovation, but structural holes have a negative impact. Ahuja argues that the optimal configuration of interorganizational relations for innovation depends on the network members’ goals.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Galaskiewicz, Joseph, and Wolfgang Bielefeld. 1998. Nonprofit organizations in an age of uncertainty: A study of organizational change. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              A report about a long-running panel project using multiple methods, including social network analysis, to explain nonprofit growth and survival in a population of Minneapolis–St. Paul nonprofits. Success depends on organizational strategies for managing relations with multiple stakeholders (donors, grant makers, members, clients) under cost constraints, a difficult set of tasks that jeopardizes many nonprofits’ survival chances. A well-designed investigation of a distinct type of organization that yields many analytical and practical insights.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gulati, Ranjay. 1995. Social structure and alliance formation patterns: A longitudinal analysis. Administrative Science Quarterly 40:619–652.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.2307/2393756Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hypothesizes that prior alliances and strategic interdependence among firms jointly influence firms’ decisions to ally with one another. Data on strategic alliance formation across two decades in multiple industries support these hypotheses and the interaction of strategic interdependence with social structure.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Larson, Andrea. 1992. Network dyads in entrepreneurial settings: A study of the governance of exchange relationships. Administrative Science Quarterly 37:76–104.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/2393534Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Larson’s ethnographic observations of high-growth firms demonstrates that excellent social network analysis can be conducted without resort to numerical measures. Her field work explicates the processes by which entrepreneurial dyads form and generate network organizational forms of governance rather than vertical integration. Interorganizational network research would benefit from more efforts to emulate this approach.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lincoln, James R., Michael L. Gerlach, and Peggy Takahashi. 1992. Keiretsu networks in the Japanese economy: A dyad analysis of intercorporate ties. American Sociological Review 57:561–585.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.2307/2095913Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Keiretsu are large agglomerations of firms dominating the postwar Japanese economy. Using resource-dependence and transaction-cost theories, the authors examine dyadic shareholding and director transfers among Japan’s top financial and industrial firms. The results reveal that keiretsu networks are composed of diffuse, permeable, and overlapping patterns. Lincoln and Gerlach’s research program on Japanese corporate networks is a landmark in interorganizational studies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Mizruchi, Mark S., and Linda B. Stearns. 1988. A longitudinal study of the formation of interlocking directorates. Administrative Science Quarterly 33:194–210.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.2307/2393055Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Uses financial databases to examine the creation of new interlock ties in twenty-two large US industrial corporations from 1956 to 1983, focusing on the appointment of representatives of financial institutions to the industrials’ boards. The longitudinal design permits assessment of effects of the general economic environment and the characteristics of individual firms. A stellar example of the large literature on corporate directorate interlocks.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Powell, Walter W., Douglas R. White, Kenneth W. Koput, and Jason Owen-Smith. 2005. Network dynamics and field evolution: The growth of interorganizational collaboration in the life sciences. American Journal of Sociology 110:1132–1205.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1086/421508Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Evolution in the interorganizational collaborations of firms in the US biotechnology field follows different logics of attachments over time: accumulative advantage, homophily, follow-the-trend, and multiconnectivity. The analysts apply various methods to investigate how the changing rules of affiliation affect network structures, which in turn alter the options and opportunities available to field members. Demonstrates how to apply diverse network measures to answer substantive research questions.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Provan, Keith G., and H. Brinton Milward. 1995. A preliminary theory of interorganizational network effectiveness: A comparative study of four community mental health systems. Administrative Science Quarterly 40:1–33.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/2393698Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A superb comparative case study of mental health service delivery networks in four US cities, using multilevel qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection. Provan and Milward explain network effectiveness, measured by client outcomes, as a function of network integration, external control, network stability, and resources. An excellent instance of how theory and data can work in tandem to advance knowledge of interorganizational processes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Uzzi, Brian. 1996. The sources and consequences of embeddedness for the economic performance of organizations: The network effect. American Sociological Review 61:674–698.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/2096399Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Specifies theoretically how embeddedness and network structures shape economic action and tests the hypotheses with data on social and economic relations among all better-dress firms in New York. Socially embedded firms and those organized in networks are more likely to survive than firms operating strictly on market principles. Uzzi’s article is an important advance in embeddedness concepts and measures.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Politcal Networks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Politics occurs everywhere—from social clubs to corporate board rooms, from legislatures to the game of nations. Because power is fundamentally relational—one actor seeks to obtain advantages despite resistance from others—network analysis is ideally suited to studying its diverse forms. Although political scientists were slower than political sociologists to adopt network methods, they are now examining such innovations as e-government using the Internet to make public services more transparent and efficient. Domhoff 1970 anticipates the network perspective on power in an analysis of multiple relations among members of the US ruling class. Huckfeldt and Sprague 1987 revives a dormant tradition in voter studies by finding partisan distortions within egocentric networks. McAdam 1986 is a study of a civil rights event that introduces network approaches to social movement researchers. Innovative network approaches to analyzing policy domains are exemplified in the United States by Laumann and Knoke 1987 and in the United Kingdom by Marsh and Smith 2000. Coleman 1973, a pioneering model of a legislature as a vote-exchange market, was enriched by the inclusion of network constraints in Marsden 1983. Recent examples of legislative coalition dynamics are Fowler 2006 for congressional bill cosponsorship networks and European Union legislative bargaining in Thomson, et al. 2006.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Coleman, James. 1973. The mathematics of collective action. Chicago: Aldine.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Coleman offers elementary models of legislative vote trading as an open market with perfect information about policy preferences that yields the prices (power) of actors in legislative decisions. This pioneering work influenced many advanced models of collective decision making.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Domhoff, G. William. 1970. The higher circles: The governing class in America. New York: Random House.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Domhoff presents evidence of a national ruling class comprised of an interlocking corporate leadership with social ties, a policy-planning community, and mass media control. Domhoff’s book and its many subsequent versions helped to shape the debate between Marxist, pluralist, and elite models of national governance.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Fowler, James H. 2006. Connecting the Congress: A study of cosponsorship networks. Political Analysis 14:456–487.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1093/pan/mpl002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Investigates the cosponsorship structure of 280,000 congressional bills between 1973 and 2004. Fowler introduces a connectedness indicator of the number and frequency of cosponsors to infer social distances among legislators. He shows that connectedness predicts passage of floor amendments, an indicator of legislative influence, as well as roll-call vote choices. The article is heavily descriptive but represents a promising venture into network methods by political science.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Huckfeldt, Robert, and John Sprague. 1987. Networks in context: The social flow of political information. American Political Science Review 81:1197–1216.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.2307/1962585Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    An early political science application of network methods to the study of voter behavior. Using a 1984 election survey of South Bend, Indiana, the authors find that respondents report their close associates’ political preferences more accurately when they agree with them but inaccurately perceive opposing or apolitical views. Over time, network selection tends to homogenize partisan networks, which may partially explain polarization and vitriol in the contemporary US electorate.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Laumann, Edward O., and David Knoke. 1987. The organizational state: Social choice in national policy domains. Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Comparative study of US energy and health policy domains that conceptualizes power structures as multiplex networks among public and private sector organizations. Opposing coalitions mobilize political resources during fights to influence specific public policy decisions. This project stimulated several replications in other countries.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Marsden, Peter V. 1983. Restricted access in networks and models of power. American Journal of Sociology 88:686–717.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1086/227729Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A significant modification of Coleman’s market exchange model of legislatures, in which network relations restrict actors’ access to potential vote exchanges. Compatibility of interests—based on trust, ideology, or party loyalty—might limit the subsets of legislators willing to log-roll their votes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Marsh, David, and Martin Smith. 2000. Understanding policy networks: Towards a dialectical approach. Political Studies 48.4: 4–21.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1111/1467-9248.00247Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Offers a dialectical change model positing interactions in a policy network; the network and its social context; and the network and policy outcomes. Marsh and Smith apply their model to explain transformative changes in UK agricultural policymaking since the 1930s. In contrast to the American preference of formal network analyses of interorganizational relations, British political scientists tend toward more theoretical and narrative accounts of policy networks.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • McAdam, Doug. 1986. Recruitment to high-risk activism: The case of Freedom Summer. American Journal of Sociology 92:64–90.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1086/228463Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Examines why people join high-risk social movements, such as the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer project that exposed voter registration activists to physical attack. Data on 720 project applications show that people who went to the South had more organizational affiliations, prior civil rights activity, and stronger, more intense ties to other participants than those who withdrew. McAdam’s research was influential in bringing networks into the study of social movements.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Thomson, Robert, Frans N. Stokman, Christopher H. Achen, and Thomas König, eds. 2006. The European Union decides. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Presents research on formal dynamic access models applied to institutionalized political bargaining and negotiation over sets of policy proposals and legislative decisions by member states of the European Union. Comparisons among alternative models find that a compromise model—where information and persuasion are central and members willingly compromise their positions to reach common solutions—best predicts EU legislative outcomes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              International Relations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nations have numerous ties to one another, including diplomatic recognition, military alliances, warfare, embargoes, cultural exchanges, economic trade, foreign direct investment, and joint memberships in scientific forums. Databases on international relations are conveniently assembled by many organizations, such as the United Nations and the CIA, lessening the network analyst’s burden. Other important data sources are news archives that can be coded for relationships among individuals, groups, organizations, and nations. For example, Krebs 2001 maps the network among the 9/11 terrorists using journalist reports, and Sageman 2004 compiles biographical data from many sources to reveal the transnational jihadi network. World-systems theorists use blockmodels to find positions occupied by nations or cities in the global economy that correspond to concepts of development and modernization. Snyder and Kick 1979 pioneers application of structural-equivalence (blockmodel) analysis of multiplex networks to test world-system and dependency theories. Nemeth and Smith 1985 advances this approach in blockmodeling commodity flows among nations, while Smith and Timberlake 1993 refocuses the application on relations among global cities. Van Rossem 1996 reveals insights from using a role equivalence alternative to structural equivalence methods. Other examples of substantive applications include Ingram, et al. 2005, a network analysis of how intergovernmental organizations affect world trade, and Stark and Vedres 2006, an innovation application of sequence analysis to understand flows of foreign direct investment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ingram, Paul, Jeffrey Robinson, and Marc L. Busch. 2005. The intergovernmental network of world trade: IGO connectedness, governance, and embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology 111:824–858.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1086/497350Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Investigates the impact of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), such as the World Trade Organization and cultural organizations, on stimulating trade among nations. Trade between pairs of nations rises as the strength of their IGO connection increases. A splendid integration of network and institutional theories that yields new understandings of the impacts of globalization.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Krebs, Valdis E. 2001. Mapping networks of terrorist cells. Connections 24.3 (December): 43–52.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Krebs used newspaper articles published shortly after al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks to construct a graph showing connections among the nineteen hijackers and forty-three accomplices who provided money, skills, and information. Not only was the operations head, Mohammed Atta, at the center of the network, but the four pilots formed a tight clique. Although primarily a commercial network analyst, Krebs contributes prominently to the network analysis of terrorism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Nemeth, Roger J., and David A. Smith. 1985. International trade and world-system structure: A multiple network analysis. Review 8.4: 517–560.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Examines structural positions of nations in the world capitalist economy by performing a blockmodel analysis of multiple commodity flows among eighty-six nations. Nemeth and Smith conclude that the observed patterns are consistent with dependency/world-system theory. The article exemplifies how theory and network methods can work together to advance a substantive field.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sageman, Marc. 2004. Understanding terror networks. Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Analyzes information from published sources on the kinship, friendship, religious, and work relations among 366 terrorists to identify four global jihadi hubs: al-Qaeda Central Staff (the top leaders), Southeast Asians, North Africans, and Core Arabs (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Kuwait). Sageman’s background as a forensic psychiatrist and former CIA officer gives him a unique perspective on violent political networks. Indispensable for anyone seeking to understand this insidious phenomenon.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Smith, David A., and Michael Timberlake. 1993. World cities: A political economy/global network approach. Research in Urban Sociology 3:181–207.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Illustrating new directions in globalization, the authors use network ideas to uncover the hierarchical division of labor among world cities in the unequal production, distribution, and consumption of economic goods and services.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Snyder, David, and Edward L. Kick. 1979. Structural position in the world system and economic growth 1955–1970: A multiple-network analysis of transnational interactions. American Journal of Sociology 84:1096–1126.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1086/226902Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          World-system and dependency theories of global economic growth posit a core-semiperiphery-periphery triad of unequal relations among nations. This article offers one of earliest and best efforts to perform blockmodel analyses on multiple matrices of relations among nations (trade flows, military interventions, diplomatic relations, and treaty memberships). Snyder and Kick interpret their results as consistent with the theorized world-system structure.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Stark, David, and Balázs Vedres. 2006. Social times of network spaces: Network sequences and foreign investment in Hungary. American Journal of Sociology 111:1367–1411.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1086/499507Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Uses social sequence analysis to examine the ownership histories of almost 1,700 Hungarian firms from 1987 to 2001, identifying distinct paths by which the network developed. Direct investment of foreign capital in Hungary grew rapidly when the Iron Curtain dissolved, as multinationals built durable networks that helped the Hungarian economy develop. The authors’ innovative approach points to an alternative economic development approach that integrates global reach and local embeddedness.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Van Rossem, Ronan. 1996. The world system paradigm as general theory of development: A cross-national test. American Sociological Review 61:508–527.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/2096362Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Investigates the world-system model using role equivalence methods, rather than the more typical structural equivalence (blockmodel) approach, using data on five network relations among 163 nations. While the results are generally consistent with the core-semiperiphery-periphery model, role positions are mainly a function more of economic size than level of development. The article points to new directions for network analysis of the world system.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Big Networks, Small Worlds

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Internet and World Wide Web are doubtless the largest social organizations yet devised, and dozens of social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, are expanding exponentially. New explanatory theories and methods to portray these large-scale systems are among the cutting-edge developments in network analysis. Physicists, mathematicians, and statisticians who recently discovered social networks are colonizing the field, and a few are even popularizing its insights for educated lay audiences. Barabási 2003 provides an accessible introduction to the analysis of very large networks, although it encompasses many nonsocial phenomena. Watts 1999 and Newman 2000 offer more formal treatments of the same ideas, while Robins, et al. 2005, an effort to bridge the micro-macro levels, requires mastery of advanced techniques. Substantive applications include Moody 2004, a cohesion analysis of social science collaborations; Uzzi and Spiro 2005, on the evolution of artistic teams that create Broadway musicals; and Lewis, et al. 2008, on the recent and little understood virtual world of Facebook. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg criticized screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network, telling CBS News, “They framed it as if I wanted to get girls or into some social institution. I’ve been dating the same girl since before Facebook.” It’s a small world, after all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Barabási, Albert-László. 2003. Linked: How everything is connected to everything else and what it means for business, science, and everyday life. New York: Plume.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Popular-science treatment of network phenomena by a physicist, including molecules, genes, cells, viruses. It offers a nonmathematical explanation of very large-scale networks (the Internet and Web) with such concepts as hubs, clustering, path distance, preferential attachment, scale-free networks, and small world. A highly readable introduction to entice examination of advanced literature. Debunks the notion that Kevin Bacon is closer to more Hollywood actors than anyone else.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Lewis, Kevin, Jason Kaufman, Marco Gonzalez, Andreas Wimmer, and Nicholas Christakis. 2008. Tastes, ties, and time: A new social network dataset using Facebook.com. Social Networks 30:330–342.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1016/j.socnet.2008.07.002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Academic studies of the Internet and Web are a growth industry even in the Great Recession. This article exemplifies the genre with analyses of the prominent social networking site Facebook. Although the findings are mainly descriptions of participants’ social attributes and shared cultural preferences, this dataset and others like it are certain to become a valuable resource for understanding these new network phenomena.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Moody, James. 2004. The structure of a social science collaboration network: Disciplinary cohesion from 1963 to 1999. American Sociological Review 69:213–238.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1177/000312240406900204Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Moody, a sociologist, examines collaborations by sociologists on sociological journal articles published between 1963 and 1999. He tests three competing models and finds strongest support for a huge, expanding, structurally cohesive core component encompassing nearly half of all collaborating authors. A highly readable application of social cohesion analysis methods that may attract little substantive interest beyond sociology. At least no sociologist has yet claimed to be the Kevin Bacon of that discipline.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Newman, M. E. J. 2000. Models of the small world: A review. Journal of Statistical Physics 101:819–841.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1023/A:1026485807148Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A good introduction to small-world ideas (a.k.a. six degrees of separation), somewhat more detailed than Barabási 2003 but not so recondite as to scare off the math-phobes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Robins, Garry, Philippa Pattison, and Jodie Woolcock. 2005. Small and other worlds: Global network structures from local processes. American Journal of Sociology 110:894–936.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1086/427322Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Links global network structures, especially small-world characteristics, to simple local social processes that could generate the network relations. The authors simulate Markov graph distributions from assumptions about simple local processes and compare the resulting global structures to alternative specifications. An outstanding exemplar of simulation approaches to network analysis, although the connection to empirical social networks is obscured by the focus on technical details. Not accessible to novice networkers.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Uzzi, Brian, and Jarrett Spiro. 2005. Collaboration and creativity: The small world problem. American Journal of Sociology 111:447–504.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1086/432782Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          An extended demonstration that varieties of small worlds occurred even within the very small world of Broadway musicals from 1945 to 1989, where 2,092 artistic and financial participants incessantly collaborate on projects, then disperse and formed new production teams, producing 474 musicals with new material. The small-world effect on creative success (turning a profit, getting favorable reviews) has an inverted-U shape, increasing up to a threshold then decreasing.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Watts, Duncan J. 1999. Networks, dynamics, and the small-world phenomenon. American Journal of Sociology 105:493–527.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1086/210318Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A more formal treatment than Barabási 2003 of the small-world model for gigantic networks that are ubiquitous in both social and natural sciences. Small worlds occur in large, sparse networks that exhibit clusters of densely connected nodes with short distances to other clusters. An example is how a disease spreads within a structured population.

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