Social Network

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A Social Network is a set of people whose members are linked by social relationships.



    • A social network is a social structure made of individuals (or organizations) called "nodes," which are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige.
    • Social network analysis views social relationships in terms of network theory about nodes and ties. Nodes are the individual actors within the networks, and ties are the relationships between the actors. The resulting graph-based structures are often very complex. There can be many kinds of ties between the nodes. Research in a number of academic fields has shown that social networks operate on many levels, from families up to the level of nations, and play a critical role in determining the way problems are solved, organizations are run, and the degree to which individuals succeed in achieving their goals.
    • In its simplest form, a social network is a map of all of the relevant nodes between all the nodes being studied. The network can also be used to measure social capital -- the value that an individual gets from the social network. These concepts are often displayed in a social network diagram, where nodes are the points and ties are the lines.
    • A social network is a set of social actors (e.g. people, organizations, communities, nations) and a set of social relationships (e.g. friendship/affect, communication, economic transactions, interactions, kinship, authority/hierarchy, trust, social support, diffusion, contagion, shared memberships) among them. Considering social relationships as a network calls attention in some manner (e.g. graphically, analytically) to the importance of the pattern or structure of the set of relationships.
    • A personal social network is the pattern of relationships among a set of actors who have a relationship to a particular focal person. A community social network is the pattern of relationships among a set of people and/or organizations in a community. Each of these networks can involve social support, provide people with a sense of community and lead them to help and protect each other.