In this book, leading methodologists address the issue of how effectively to apply the latest developments in social network analysis to behavioural and social science disciplines. Topics examined include: ways to specify the network contents to be studied; how to select the method for representing network structures; how social network analysis has been used to study interorganizational relations via the resource dependence model; how to use a contact matrix for studying the spread of disease in epidemiology; and how cohesion and structural equivalence network theories relate to studying social influence. The book also offers some statistical models for social support networks.

Network Studies of Social Influence

Network studies of social influence
Peter V.Marsden, Noah E.Friedkin

The study of social influence is a strategic arena for social network research; it links the structure of social relations to attitudes and behaviors of the actors who compose a network. Such research is crucial to demonstrating the explanatory potential of the network approach by exhibiting what Laumann (1979) takes to be “the hallmark of a network analysis … to explain, at least in part, the behavior of network elements … by appeal to specific features of the interconnections among the elements” (p. 394).

Network analysts have developed a distinctive approach to social influence that entails a structural conceptualization of social proximity. The general hypothesis is that the proximity of two actors in social ...

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