Social network

Evolution graph of a social network: Barabási model.

A social network is a social structure made up of a set of social actors (such as individuals or organizations), sets of dyadic ties, and other social interactions between actors. The social network perspective provides a set of methods for analyzing the structure of whole social entities as well as a variety of theories explaining the patterns observed in these structures.[1] The study of these structures uses social network analysis to identify local and global patterns, locate influential entities, and examine network dynamics.

Social networks and the analysis of them is an inherently interdisciplinary academic field which emerged from social psychology, sociology, statistics, and graph theory. Georg Simmel authored early structural theories in sociology emphasizing the dynamics of triads and "web of group affiliations".[2] Jacob Moreno is credited with developing the first sociograms in the 1930s to study interpersonal relationships. These approaches were mathematically formalized in the 1950s and theories and methods of social networks became pervasive in the social and behavioral sciences by the 1980s.[1][3] Social network analysis is now one of the major paradigms in contemporary sociology, and is also employed in a number of other social and formal sciences. Together with other complex networks, it forms part of the nascent field of network science.[4][5]

  1. ^ a b Wasserman, Stanley; Faust, Katherine (1994). "Social Network Analysis in the Social and Behavioral Sciences". Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1–27. ISBN 9780521387071.
  2. ^ Scott, W. Richard; Davis, Gerald F. (2003). "Networks In and Around Organizations". Organizations and Organizing. Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-195893-7.
  3. ^ Freeman, Linton (2004). The Development of Social Network Analysis: A Study in the Sociology of Science. Empirical Press. ISBN 978-1-59457-714-7.
  4. ^ Borgatti, Stephen P.; Mehra, Ajay; Brass, Daniel J.; Labianca, Giuseppe (2009). "Network Analysis in the Social Sciences". Science. 323 (5916): 892–895. Bibcode:2009Sci...323..892B. CiteSeerX doi:10.1126/science.1165821. PMID 19213908. S2CID 522293.
  5. ^ Easley, David; Kleinberg, Jon (2010). "Overview". Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning about a Highly Connected World. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1–20. ISBN 978-0-521-19533-1.

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