Lecture18 - o If so, how close to each other are two...

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Introduction to Sociology 11/29/2010 Lecture 18: Diffusion (continued) and The Small World Important aspects of network structure Components: Sets of actors who are all connected to each other, directly or indirectly Distance: The average number of links separating pairs of actors Clusters: Subgroups with high internal density o Clusters slow down diffusion—if you have many ties within a subset of actors, the information is bouncing around the group—redundant connections—less efficient o In certain cases, can speed of spread—Ex: want to try a new trend Structural holes: Gaps that exist between poorly connected clusters or components in a network Bridges : Ties that span structural holes Hubs: Actors who are directly connected to a large number of other actors The Small world experiment- Stanley Milgram Is there a global social network through which everyone can “reach” directly or indirectly, everyone else? (Ignore internet)
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Unformatted text preview: o If so, how close to each other are two randomly selected people? Milgram asked about 300 people in Nebraska and Boston to get a package to a single target person in Massachusetts (whom they did not know) through acquaintance chains The package that reached the target did so through an average of five intermediaries (i.e., six steps) 48% of the completed chains passed through one of the same three people (Milgram refers to these as penultimate links and stars-but you could also call them hubs) A recent replication Study conducted in 2003 by researchers at Columbia o Used 18 targets from 13 different countries (e.g., U.S, Estonia, India) o Recruited 60,000 volunteers from 166 countries to initiate email chains to reach targets, starting with a social acquaintance The average number of intermediaries is between 5-7...
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