Topic: Elements Of Social Interaction

A social network is a social structure between actors, connecting them through various social familiarities.

A social network is a social structure between actors, either individuals or organizations. It indicates the ways in which they are connected through various social familiarities, ranging from casual acquaintance to close familial bonds. The study of social networks is called both “social network analysis” and “social network theory. ” Research in a number of academic fields has demonstrated that social networks operate on many levels, from families up to the level of nations, and play a critical role in determining the way problems are solved, organizations are run, and the degree to which individuals succeed in achieving their goals. Sociologists are interested in social networks because of their influence on and importance for the individual. Social networks are the basic tools used by individuals to meet other people, recreate, and find social support.

Social network theory views social relationships in terms of nodes and ties. Nodes are the individual actors within the networks, and ties are the relationships between the actors. There can be many kinds of ties between the nodes. In its most simple form, a social network is a map of all of the relevant ties between the nodes being studied.


Key Points

• The study of social networks is called both “social network analysis” and “social network theory “.

• Social network theory views social relationships in terms of nodes and ties. Nodes are the individual actors within the networks, and ties are the relationships between the actors.


Key Terms

node: they are the individual actors within the networks, and ties are the relationships between the actors

acquaintance: a person one knows slightly, but who is not a close friend

social network theory: is the study of how people, organizations or groups interact with others inside their network



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