Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2011

Social network analysis has been one of the fastest growing and most influential areas of recent times. Why has this happened? What are the key features of social network analysis?

This sparkling Handbook offers an unrivalled resource. Systematically, it introduces readers to the key concepts, substantive topics, central methods, and prime debates. Among the specific areas covered are: Network theory; Interdisciplinary applications; Online networks; Corporate networks; Lobbying networks; Deviant networks; Measuring devices; Key Methodologies; Software applications

The result is a peerless resource for teachers and students. It offers a critical survey of the origins, basic issues and major debates. Instead of consulting a variety of books and journal articles, the Handbook offers a one-stop guide that will be used by readers for decades to come.

Chapter 12: Networking Online: Cybercommunities

Networking Online: Cybercommunities

Networking online: Cybercommunities
AnatoliyGruzd and CarolineHaythornthwaite


As social creatures, our daily lives are intertwined with others in a wide variety of social networks involving our relatives, friends, co-workers, and a vast array of acquaintances and strangers. It is only natural that our digital lives are also made up of various social structures and networks. As Wellman (2001) noted, “Computer networks are inherently social networks, linking people, organizations, and knowledge” (p. 2031). Our online interactions can complement other communication channels in support of existing social relationships, and they can open up new, exclusively virtual, relationships maintained through online groups, communities, and worlds. Richly nuanced, strong ties can be maintained through the abundant and interconnected media channels now at our fingertips: from the commonplace email to ...

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