Networks in the Global Village: Life in Contemporary Communities
Westview Press, 1999 - Social Science - 377 pages
Networks in the Global Village examines how people live through personal communities: their networks of friends, neighbors, relatives, and coworkers. It is the first book to compare the communities of people around the world. Major social differences between and within the First, Second, and Third Worlds affect the opportunities and insecurities with which individuals and households must deal, the supportive resources they seek, and the ways in which markets, institutions, and networks structure access to these resources. Each article written by a resident shows how living in a country affects the ways in which people use networks to access resources.Most people’s ties in the developed world are not with neighbors but are widely dispersed. Unlike traditional studies of communities, social network analysis can identify the flourishing personal communities that people do have, no matter how far their ties may stretch and how fragmented their communities may be.Social networks are one of the principal means by which people and households acquire resources—either directly, through informal exchanges, or indirectly, by providing information on how to access the services provided by governments and other institutions. Networks in the Global Village focuses on how people use these networks around the world.
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While I have been studying the virtual communities since the 1990s, I had missed this book until recently. How disappointed I was. I was expecting it to be like Jan Van Dijk's 1999 book the Network Society, but it fell far short. It is nowhere near as good as fellow sociologist, Howard Rheingold's 1993 Virtual Community. I also recently bought the 2005 edition of The Network Society: Social Aspects of New Media by Jan Van Dijk and together with the 2000 edition of Howard Rhiengold's The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier these two provide a far superior and authoritative account of how social networks operate.
Barry Wellman 1
A Network Is More
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