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 8: Personal Communities: The World According to Me

Personal Communities: The World According to Me

Personal communities: The world according to me
VincentChua, JuliaMadej, and BarryWellman

Except for saintly altruists, the world revolves around ‘Me’. We keep a mental network map of our friends and enemies. Who are the people I will see today or contact by the Internet or mobile phone? Who can I count on for different kinds of help? Which of my friends and relatives know each other, and which get along with each other?

Networks built around ‘Me’ – personal communities – have always been with us. But, nowadays, with Facebook and its ilk, people are becoming very aware that communities can consist of a person's network of relationships, wherever such communities are located.

In fact, there are three ways of looking at ...

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