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Social Networks: Overall

  • By: Katherine Abbott
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

There are many different kinds of networks. For example, there are technological networks, biological or neural networks, and social networks. The social network paradigm refers to networks of people (called actors or nodes) and the relationships they have with other people (called edges or ties). Studies of social networks are used to measure a variety of concepts, such as levels of social integration, the provision of social support, and the exchange of resources or information. Social theorists Émile Durkheim, Ferdinand Tönnies, and Georg Simmel were the first to discuss the role of social integration or isolation on a variety of health outcomes. Research shows that being connected to other people has a significant and direct impact on people's physical and mental health. In addition, people ...

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