Lecture18

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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