Online Reading #2
Degree of separation:
-The idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of
introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of "a friend of a
friend" statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps
Social network: is a bounded set of individuals linked by the exchange of material
or emotional resources
-These patterns of exchange determine the boundaries of the network.
-Members exchange resources more frequently with each other than with non-
-They think of themselves as network members.
-Social networks may be formal (defined in writing) or informal (defined only in
-Connect us to the larger world
-Not restricted to ties among individuals: can be between lovers of diplomatic
-Nodes: units of analysis. Ex: countries, individuals, organizations
-Networks don’t always have names; networks lie beneath the more visible
collectivities of social life
-“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”
- Mark Granovetter (1973), you may have strong or weak ties to another person
-Weak ties may be more useful in finding a job with their diverse networks, because
strong ties have the same social networks as you
-Strength in weak ties: diversity and abundance
-A community: intimate and emotionally intense social ties,
-Society:impersonal relationships held together largely by self-interest.
-However, Wellman found that Torontonians are network rich
Ex: automobile, public transportation, the telephone, and the Internet
-Network analysis focuses on actual social relationships, not age, group, gender, etc.
-Information is spread through networks first, eventually to the broad community
-Focuses on concrete social ties
Ex: HIV being a gay men disease is incorrect Dyad: Social relationship between 2 nodes (Marriage)
-Both partners must be intensely and intimately involved
-Needs both to live but dies if one node opts out
-Cannot have free riders: benefit without contributing
-Partners must assume full responsibility for everything that transpires; cannot shift
responsibility to a larger collectivity (since it does not exist)
Triad: Social relationship between 3 nodes
-Less intimate and intense
-Restricts individuality: constrains one for the collective good (Ex: outvoted)
-Allows coalitions/factions to form
-Third-party mediation of conﬂict between two partners is possible.
-Third-party exploitation of rivalry between two partners is possible.
-A third-party divide-and-conquer strategy is possible (encouraging rivalry for
-Free riders are possible.
-It is possible to shift responsibility to the larger collectivity
-Weber: Most effective type of secondary group in older organizational groups
-Bureaucratic inefficiencies can cause tragedies
-In reality, bureaucracies vary in efficiency
-Dehumanization: Treating clients as standard procedures
-Bureaucratic ritualism: Rules and regulations sometimes overtake actual goals
-Oligarchy: Rule of the few, hindering democracy
-Bureaucratic inertia: bureaucracies are sometimes so large and rigid that they
continue policies even when clients’ needs change
Two factors of bureaucratic inefficiency
1) Size: the bigger the more problematic (jealousy, possibility of clique formation,
rivalries, conflict, and miscommunication)
Number of dyadic relationships: (n^2-n)/2
Ex: (4^2-4)/2 = 6 4 people will ha