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Networks, Groups, Organizations.docx

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Ivanka Knezevic

October 25 , 2012 Networks, Groups, & Organizations Formal sociology (Simmel, Tönnies) -Focus: forms of social relationships that underlie and are common to diverse areas of social structure (i.e. diverse purposes of social action) -Diad: social relationship between two nodes (individuals, groups, organizations). -It requires intense involvement from both partners. Most often based on equality -Triad: social relationship among three nodes -New elements of social relationship: alliances, mediation, rivalry, etc. Importance of power Social networks – definition -A set of ties between individuals (nodes), along which (social and material) resources are exchanged. -Types of ties: unidirectional, reciprocal, redundant, strong and weak. -Granovetter: the “strength of weak ties” is in information flow. -Personal social networks overlap: they are connected to each other (unlike groups, networks have no clear identity and boundaries). -Who is in your network? -“Sociology proper”: unit of analysis is not an individual, but a social relationship Social groups and categories – definitions -Groups are sets of people that: 1. Engage in social interaction 2. Have a structure: statuses, roles (Tepperman: leadership) 3. Have common values and norms 4. Whose members are aware of their membership in a group (Tepperman: identify with the group and other members) 5. Have boundaries, and practice solidarity and exclusion. -Which characteristics do demographic categories (unconnected sets of people sharing a characteristic) lack? -Categories become significant if their defining characteristic is socially significant for structural reasons (Knezevic) or it is socially constructed as significant (Tepperman). Types of social groups -Primary: 1. Small; face-to-face contact; members get to know each other well 2. Membership is subjectively important to members (strong emotional ties) 3. Long-lasting -Secondary: 1. Large; members may never meet, but are aware of their membership 2. Subjectively less important to members 3. May be short- or long-lasting -Informal and formal social groups: written rules. -Organizations are formal secondary groups designed to engage in specific activities (Tepperman: have specific goal or purpose). Social forms of traditional and modern societies -Ferdinand Tönnies:
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