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.
Chapter 1: Network Studies of Social Influence
Network Studies of Social Influence
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 ...