Social Structures: A Network Approach
Barry Wellman, Stephen D. Berkowitz
CUP Archive, Jan 1, 1988 - Social Science - 513 pages
This study of social structures looks at the network approach. It contains non-technical articles that contrast structural analysis with other social scientific approaches. It deals with individual behaviour and identity and with neighbourhood and community ties. It examines the relationships within and between organizations, discussing how firms occupy strategically appropriate niches. It also explores the impact of the growth of the Internet, equating computer networks as social networks connecting people in virtual communities and collaborative work.
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This book was first printed in 1988, when distance communication was a way of life for me as someone attending boarding school. This book tries to be groundbreaking, but fails. When you look at other books available like Jan Van Dijk's The Network Society: Social Aspects of New Media and Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community you'd notice that this book only scratches the surface of networked communities. This book tries to do for sociology what The Psychology of Interpersonal Behavior does for psychology, but comes nowhere near. If sociology is more your thing than psychology then I'd recommend instead Erving Goffman's The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, which I've read a number of times and learn more from on each occasion.