Networks in the Global Village: Life in Contemporary Communities

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Barry Wellman
Westview Press, 1999 - Social Science - 377 pages
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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. 


An Introduction
Barry Wellman 1
A Network Is More

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African-Americans Alan Hall Although American Barry Wellman Beverly Hills Canada Chapter characteristics Charles Tilly Chile China Chinese cial City Claude Fischer CM CM CM communist community networks Community Studies community ties computer-mediated communication coworkers data-set densely knit East York ECLAC economic edited emigrate exchanges Fischer forints friends friendship Georg Simmel Gift Economy Granovetter groups guanxi Gulia Harrison White Harvard University heterogeneous homophilous Hong Kong households However Hungarian Hungary immediate kin interaction Internet Relay Chat interpersonal interpersonal ties interview intimate Japan Japanese Jim Hightower job-seekers John Perry Barlow Journal kinship labor labor market Linton Freeman live Mark Granovetter Marriage Marsden Martin Guerre Matsuyama metropolitan Toronto Michael Peter Smith Microserfs Montaillou multiplexity mutual aid Nan Lin Nashville neighborhood neighbors network analysis network capital network members Network Theory Newbury Park newsgroups nity nomic Okayama organizations Patron-Client Relations percentage personal communities personal networks Pescosolido Peter Carrington Peter Kollock Peter Nardi range factor reciprocity relations relationships respondents Ronald Burt Santiago Shikoku Regions Singapore social capital social class social mobility social network analysis Social Networks Social Structure social support societies socioeconomic Sociology solidarity sparsely knit status strong ties survey Table teleworkers Tianjin tion Toronto Torontonians typologies University of California University of Chicago University of Toronto University Press Urban Urban Neighborhoods Urban Sociology Uwajima variables virtual communities weak ties Wellman and Wortley Wong Siu-lun workmates Yanjie York Yorkers

About the author (1999)

Barry Wellman is professor of sociology at the University of Toronto. He is chair of the Community and Urban Sociology section of the American Sociological Association, founder and international coordinator of the International Network for Social Network Analysis, focus area advisor for Virtual Communities of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Groupware, and coeditor of Social Structures: A Network Approach.

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