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Networks, Groups, Societies, and Bureaucracies notes Oct 7 2008

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University of Toronto St. George
Sheldon Ungar

Readings 10-07-08 Networks, Groups, Societies, and Bureaucracies Networks Its a Small World O although film acting stretches back more than a century- has involved people in many countries O half-million people who have ever acted in films form a pretty small world O Travers, Milgram (1969) conducted study: asked 300 randomly selected people in Nebraska and Kansas to mail a document to a complete stranger, a stockbroker in Boston O However, the people could not mail the document directly to the stockbroker. They had to mail it to a person they knew on a first-name basis who, in turn, could send it only to a person they knew on a first-name basis, and so forth O defined this passing of a letter from one person to another as a link or a degree of separation O thought it would take many degrees of separation, to get the letter to Boston stockbroker- the average was about six O no more than six degrees of separation separate any two people in the United States Network Analysis O Although an individual may know a small number of people: family members, friends, co-workers, etc, others know more ppl who extend far beyond that individuals personal network O Ex: I may not know the author of this article but my prof probably does or at knows someone, who knows them (no more than 3 links of separation) O although our personal networks are small, they lead quickly to much larger networks. We live in a small world because our social networks connect us to the larger world O Social Network: a bounded set of individuals linked by the exchange of material or emotional resources, everything from money to friendship O The patterns of exchange determine the boundaries of the network. Members exchange resources more frequently with each other than with non-members O Social networks may be formal (defined in writing) or informal (defined only in practice) O Each of your network members is linked to other people- connects you to people you have never met, creating a small world that extends far beyond your personal network O The units of analysis or nodes in a network can be individuals, groups, organizations, and even countries Finding A Job O You have strong ties to people who are close to you, such as family members and friends O You have weak ties to mere acquaintances, such as people you meet at parties and friends of friends O Granovetter found that weak ties are more important than strong ties in finding a job O Mere acquaintances are more likely to provide useful information about employment opportunities than friends or family members O people who are close to you typically share overlapping networks- the information they can provide about job opportunities is often redundant O mere acquaintances are likely to be connected to diverse networks- provide information about many different job openings and- introductions to many different potential employers. O people typically have more weak ties than strong ties, the sum of weak ties holds more information about job opportunities than the sum of strong ties Urban Networks, Scientific Innovation, and the Spread of HIVAIDS
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