Understanding Social Networks

Understanding Social Networks : Theories, Concepts, and Findings

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

Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 156 x 236 x 22mm | 458.13g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 48 b/w
  • 0195379462
  • 9780195379464
  • 1,360,885

About Charles Kadushin

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

Table of contents

Preface ; 1) Introduction ; -Getting Connected ; -Networks as Information Maps ; -Leaders and Followers ; -Networks as Conduits ; -The Point of View ; 2) Basic Network Concepts, Part I: Individual Members of Networks ; -Introduction ; -What Is a Network? ; -Sociological Questions about Relationships ; Connections ; Propinquity ; Homophily ; Individual-Level Homophily ; Homophily and Collectivities ; -Dyads and Mutuality ; -Balance and Triads ; -Where We Are Now ; 3) Basic Network Concepts, Part II: Whole Social Networks ; -Distributions ; Dyads and Triads ; Density ; Structural Holes ; Weak Ties ; -"Popularity" or Centrality ; -Distance ; Size of the Interpersonal Environment ; The "Small World" ; -Multiplexity ; -Roles and Positions ; Named Positions and Relationships ; Informal Positions and Relationships ; Informal Relations and Hierarchies ; Embeddedness of the Informal within Instituted or Named Networks ; Observed Roles ; -Summary ; 4) Basic Network Concepts, Part III: Network Segmentation ; -Introduction ; -Named and Unnamed Network Segments ; Primary Groups, Cliques, and Clusters ; -Segmenting Networks from the Point of View of the Observer ; Segmenting Groups on the Basis of Cohesion ; Resistance to Disruption ; Structural Similarity and Structural Equivalence ; Core/Periphery Structures ; -Where We Are Now ; 5) The Psychological Foundations of Social Networks ; -Getting Things Done ; -Community and Support ; -Safety and Affiliation ; -Effectiveness and Structural Holes ; -Safety and Social Networks ; -Effectiveness and Social Networks ; -Both Safety and Effectiveness? ; -Driving for Status or Rank ; -Cultural Differences in Safety, Effectance, and Rank ; -Motivations and Practical Networks ; -Motivations of Corporate Actors ; -Cognitive Limits on Individual Networks ; -Where We Are Now ; 6) Small Groups, Leadership, and Social Networks: The Basic Building Blocks ; -Introduction ; -Primary Groups and Informal Systems: Propositions ; -Pure Informal Systems ; -How to Find Informal Systems ; -Asymmetric Ties and the Influence of the External System ; -Formalizing the System ; -Where We Are Now ; 7) Organizations and Networks ; -The Contradictions of Authority ; -Emergent Networks in Organizations ; The Factory Floor ; -Information-Driven Organizations ; -Inside the Box, Outside the Box, or Both ; -Bridging the Gaps: Tradeoff s between Network Size, Diversity, and Social Cohesion ; -Where We Are Now ; 8) The Small World, Circles, and Communities ; -Introduction ; -How Many People Do You Know? ; -The Skewed Distribution of the Number of People One Knows ; -Formal Small World Models ; -Clustering in Social Networks ; -Social Circles ; -The Small World Search ; -Applications of Small World Theory to Smaller Worlds ; -Where We Are Now ; 9) Networks and Diffusion ; -Networks and Diffusion-An Introduction ; The Basic Model ; Exogenous Factors in the Adoption of Innovation ; - Influence and Decision-Making ; The Current State of Personal Influence ; Self-Designated Opinion Leaders or Influentials ; Characteristics of Opinion Leaders and Influentials ; Group Influence ; -Epidemiology and Network Diffusion ; Social Networks and Epidemiology ; Social Networks and HIV-AIDS ; Transporting Disease-Large-Scale Models ; -Tipping Points and Thresholds ; Threshold ; - Where We Are Now ; 10) Networks as Social Capital ; - Introduction ; The General Idea of Social Capital ; Social Capital as Investment ; -Individual-Level Social Capital ; Social Support ; Individual Networked Resources: Position and Resource Generators ; Correlates of Individual Social Capital ; Other Indicators of Networked Resources ; -Social Capital as an Attribute of Social Systems ; Theorists of Social System Social Capital ; Bowling Alone ; Recent Findings on Social System Social Capital and Its Consequences ; -Where We Are Now ; 11) Ethical Dilemmas of Network Research ; -Networks as a Research Paradigm ; -Anonymity, Confidentiality, Privacy, and Consent ; -Who Benefits ; - Cases and Examples ; Survey Research ; Organization Research ; Terrorists and Criminals ; Networks and Terrorism: The CASOS Projects ; -Conclusion: More Complicated than the Belmont Report ; 12) Coda: Ten Master Ideas of Social Networks ; -Introduction ; -The Ten Master Ideas ; Bibliography ; Notes ; Indexshow more

Review quote

Charles Kadushin is one of the sociologists who pioneered social network analysis and he has continued to make stimulating, thoughtful contributions. His new book provides a lucid, revealing introduction to the basic ideas and findings of the social networks field. * Claude S. Fischer, University of California, Berkeley * In Understanding Social Networks Charles Kadushin dispels the myth that social network research is simply methodology. The book is chock full of ideas that lay out vast terrains ripe for future research and exploration. All of the ideas are buttressed with historical documentation and developed within the context of existing social, psychological, economic, and other theories. Bravo! * Thomas Valente, University of Southern California * Social networks are more than Facebook or a set of methods. Charles Kadushin is a veteran in thinking about what social networks do and what they mean. This thoughtful book provides a host of knowledge about how social networks operate in small groups, organizations and throughout society. Kadushin's ten master ideas distill the essence of social networks. * Barry Wellman, S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto * Finally! A sociologically informed and compelling introduction to social network analysis by one of the giants of the field. While there has been dramatic recent growth in the study of networks, new entrants often miss much of the rich history and compelling social theory that has been the field's foundation. This book represents an introduction to networks for social scientists and students looking to learn the 'why' of social network analysis, rather than computational detail. An all-around gem that should take a canonical place in social network courses. * James Moody, Duke University * Integrates the history, theories, and substantive applications of social network analysis... should be especially accessible to neophytes... Despite the nontechnical treatment, Kadushin encompasses deep analytic coverage and broad empirical research...The final chapter summarizes the conceptual tour de force in 'Ten Master Ideas of Social Networks. * David Knonke, Contemporary Sociology *show more

Rating details

107 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 30% (32)
4 31% (33)
3 36% (38)
2 2% (2)
1 2% (2)
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