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A network is a structure of relationships linking social actors (Wasserman and Faust, 1994) that in turn are the building blocks of human experience, mapping the connections that individuals have to one another (Pescosolido, 1991). Social structures are not based therefore on categorisations such as age, gender or race but on the actual nature of the social contacts that individuals have and the impact on people's lives (White, 1992). There are basic principles that underlie a network approach and that can guide their development:
- Network interactions influence beliefs and attitudes as well as behaviour, action, and outcomes.
- Individuals both act and react to the social networks in their environment.
- Structural elements (size, density, or types of relationships) of ...