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November 4, 2011.docx

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University of Saskatchewan
SOC 233
Kara Somerville

SOC 233 November 4, 2011 Network Theory Con’t… Slogan for: Granovetter – “It’s not what you know, but who you know, and the relationship you have with those you know.” Granovetter, 1970  Granovetter is known as the most influential person in Network Theory.  Survey of 282 professional, technical and managerial workers (100 were personally interviewed).  Studied how people went about obtaining their jobs.  Of the 282, 54 found jobs through personal contacts.  Conclusion – Weak ties are an important resource in occupational mobility; weak ties are a very important resource to obtain a job.  Jobs that were found through weak ties, were found to be the “better” jobs; higher paying jobs and more job satisfaction. Note – From a macro perspective, weak ties play a role in effecting social cohesion.  Even with a weak tie, all individuals have the same access to the same information.  We believe that we obtain most of our resources from close individuals (i.e., strong ties), but this is not the case. Q – What does this tell us about interpersonal ties?  Granovetter highlights the importance of acquaintances in social networks.  More novel information flows to individuals through weak rather than strong ties; if you’re using strong ties, the information you’re getting is already the information you have at your disposal.  Individuals with a few weak ties are disadvantaged compared to individuals with multiple weak ties. Note – The more weak ties you have, the better off you are.  Produces a stronger knowledge-base.  Expanding/broadening your horizons. Weak Tie Hypothesis Weak Tie Hypothesis: If A is linked to both B and C, then there is a greater probability that B and C are linked to each other.  Weak ties will function as the crucial bridge between any two densely knit clumps of close friends.  Higher probability that you, and the friend of your best friend (i.e., your strong tie), will have a tie. Location of Nodes Q – Who is at the core and who deviates from the core?  Where is the node in regards to the center and periphery? Q – Why are Networks Important? 1. Intuitive: Goods travel through contacts between actors, which can reflect a power distribution or influence attitudes and behaviours.  Our understanding of social life improves if we account for this social space. 2. Less Intuitive: Patterns of inter-actor contac can have effects on the spread of goods or power dynamics that could not be seen  We need to step back from studying individuals, and start looking at structures.  Structures heavily influence the flow and dynamics of ties. Network Exchange Theory  Builds on the benefits of both network and exchange theory.  Network theory ability to understand networks of relationships in terms of their structure.  Exchange theory has a real strength in understanding the relations between actors (i.e., more micro). Network Theory = Structure Exchange Theory = Relations Note – Network Exchange Theory looks at social changes that can occur within the larger network; exchanges that take place within the network.  How power is distributed and exchanged. Exchange Network: A set of actors linked together directly through exchange relations. 1. A conenection between two exchange relations is either positive o
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