Posts Tagged ‘social networks’
In an excerpt from his book Why It’s Still Kicking Off Everywhere, Paul Mason argues that a global protest movement, based on social networks, is here to stay.
Two years on from the fall of Hosni Mubarak, the new Egyptian president is from the Muslim Brotherhood; on the streets of Cairo, the same kind of people who died in droves in 2011 are still getting killed. On the streets of Athens, the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn is staging anti-migrant pogroms. In Russia, Pussy Riot are in jail and the leaders of the democracy movement facing criminal indictments. The war in Syria is killing 200 people a day. It’s an easy step from all this to the conclusion that 2011, the year it all kicked off, was a flash in the pan. But wrong. Something real and important was unleashed in 2011, and it has not yet gone away. I am confident enough now to call it a revolution. Some of its processes conform to the templates laid down in the revolutionary wave that swept Europe in 1848, but many do not: above all, the relationship between the physical and the mental, the political and the cultural, seem inverted.
Along with the origins of agriculture, the appearance of complex societies – often called ‘chiefdoms’ and ‘states’ – is one of the most widely discussed social processes in the archaeological literature. Explanations for the beginnings of complex societies commonly involve ideas of progressive social evolution.
An alternative approach for understanding the evolution of social complexity is based on concepts derived from the study of complex systems. As we illustrate below, complex systems give us new conceptual tools for studying the social processes that drove the evolution of small agricultural communities into political states. Complex systems are composed of many interacting components organized into nested groups that can be represented as organizational hierarchies or hierarchically structured networks; the more complex the system, the deeper the nesting of the groups of components. In human terms, such nested groups could be nuclear families within forager bands, and bands within regional metapopulations. They also could be households within clans within chiefdoms, or individuals within craft guilds, within a city within a state.
Renowned scientists Christakis and Fowler present compelling evidence for our profound influence on one another’s tastes, health, wealth, happiness, beliefs, even weight, as they explain how social networks form and how they operate. “Connected” uses science and research to explain how we are all socially tied together in one way shape or form. And how our actions affect other people’s lives and vice versa. We all create a ripple affect that is felt and heard to the ends of the world. After reading this book you suddenly become more sensitive about your actions, how your negative or positive energy can pass onto a complete stranger and how they will pass it along and so on and so forth. Life is a cycle and everything comes back to us. Reap what you sow.
Civil unrest is a powerful form of collective human dynamics, which has led to major transitions of societies in modern history. The study of collective human dynamics, including collective aggression, has been the focus of much discussion in the context of modeling and identification of universal patterns of behavior. In contrast, the possibility that civil unrest activities, across countries and over long time periods, are governed by universal mechanisms has not been explored. Here, records of civil unrest of 170 countries during the period 1919–2008 are analyzed. It is demonstrated that the distributions of the number of unrest events per year are robustly reproduced by a nonlinear, spatially extended dynamical model, which reflects the spread of civil disorder between geographic regions connected through social and communication networks. The results also expose the similarity between global social instability and the dynamics of natural hazards and epidemics.
This paper will examine the June-December 2004 popular uprising in Manipur, through the lens of reports in the Manipuri, Indian and global media, with a view to showing how the characteristics of an affinity-network arise in a marginal setting. It will show that social relations based on the affinity-network form provide an alternative to statist and hierarchical imaginaries which create antagonistic, fixed identities, turning difference into a positive force of empowerment instead of a matter of incompatible claims. It will also seek to understand how, in contrast to other local political forces, the mobilisation was able to turn difference into a source of strength.
Understanding social dynamics that govern human phenomena, such as communications and social relationships is a major problem in current computational social sciences. In particular, given the unprecedented success of online social networks (OSNs), in this paper we are concerned with the analysis of aggregation patterns and social dynamics occurring among users of the largest OSN as the date: Facebook. In detail, we discuss the mesoscopic features of the community structure of this network, considering the perspective of the communities, which has not yet been studied on such a large scale. To this purpose, we acquired a sample of this network containing millions of users and their social relationships; then, we unveiled the communities representing the aggregation units among which users gather and interact; finally, we analyzed the statistical features of such a network of communities, discovering and characterizing some specific organization patterns followed by individuals interacting in online social networks, that emerge considering different sampling techniques and clustering methodologies. This study provides some clues of the tendency of individuals to establish social interactions in online social networks that eventually contribute to building a well-connected social structure, and opens space for further social studies.
In complex social systems such as those of many mammals, including humans, groups (and hence ego-centric social networks) are commonly structured in discrete layers. We describe a computational model for the development of social relationships based on agents’ strategies for social interaction that favour more less-intense, or fewer more-intense partners. A trust-related process controls the formation and decay of relationships as a function of interaction frequency, the history of interaction, and the agents’ strategies. A good fit of the observed layers of human social networks was found across a range of model parameter settings. Social interaction strategies which favour interacting with existing strong ties or a time-variant strategy produced more observation-conformant results than strategies favouring more weak relationships. Strong-tie strategies spread in populations under a range of fitness conditions favouring wellbeing, whereas weak-tie strategies spread when fitness favours foraging for food. The implications for modelling the emergence of social relationships in complex structured social networks are discussed.
Social networks and online communities are reshaping the way people communicate, both in their personal and professional lives. What makes some succeed and others fail? What draws a user in? What makes them join? What keeps them coming back? Entrepreneurs and businesses are turning to user experience practitioners to figure this out. Though they are well-equipped to evaluate and create a variety of interfaces, social networks require a different set of design principles and ways of thinking about the user in order to be successful.
Design to Thrive presents tried and tested design methodologies to ensure successful and sustainable online communities. The book describes four criteria, called ”RIBS,” which are necessary to the design of a successful and sustainable online community. These concepts provide designers with the tools they need to generate informed creative and productive design ideas, to think proactively about the communities they are building or maintaining, and to design communities that encourage users to actively contribute.
In today’s flatter organizations, collaboration in employee networks has become critical to innovation and to both individual and company wide performance. Executives spend millions on new organizational designs, cultural initiatives, and technologies to promote the sharing of knowledge and expertise across functional, hierarchical, and divisional lines. Yet these efforts have achieved disappointing results.
Rob Cross and Andrew Parker argue that’s because most managers have little understanding of how their employees actually interact to get work done. In fact, formal “org charts” fail to reveal the often hidden social networks that truly drive–or hinder–an organization’s performance. In this eye-opening book, Cross and Parker show managers how to find, assess, and support the networks most crucial to competitive success.
Based on their in-depth study of more than sixty informal networks within organizations around the world, Cross and Parker show how managers can implement a wide range of specific and inexpensive actions-from bridging strategically important disconnects in a network to eliminating information “bottlenecks” to recognizing key connectors-that will enhance the powerful impact networks can have on performance and innovation.
Despite the swift spread of social network concepts and their applications and the rising use of network analysis in social science, there is no book that provides a thorough general introduction for the serious reader. Understanding Social Networks fills that gap by explaining the big ideas that underlie the social network phenomenon. Written for those interested in this fast moving area but who are not mathematically inclined, it covers fundamental concepts, then discusses networks and their core themes in increasing order of complexity. Kadushin demystifies the concepts, theories, and findings developed by network experts. He selects material that serves as basic building blocks and examples of best practices that will allow the reader to understand and evaluate new developments as they emerge. Understanding Social Networks will be useful to social scientists who encounter social network research in their reading, students new to the network field, as well as managers, marketers, and others who constantly encounter social networks in their work.