Mark granovetterswt

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Mark granovetterswt

  1. 1. Mark Granovetter & the Strength of Weak Ties
  2. 2. <ul><li>Sociologist at Stanford University </li></ul><ul><li>Best known for his theory The Strength of Weak Ties (SWT), which focuses on the spread of information in social networks. </li></ul><ul><li>Granovetter was influenced by the early 20 th century work of Stanley Milgram on social networks, and launched a study in the late 1960s and early 1970s of job-seekers in Boston. </li></ul><ul><li>In this study, over 80% of subjects found a job through a contact with whom they did not have a close relationship ; more jobs were located via “friends of “friends” than directly through close friends. This became the basis for his Strength of Weak Ties theory. </li></ul>Dr. Mark Granovetter
  3. 3. <ul><li>Weak ties (acquaintances) are more likely to be bridges to outside networks than strong ties (emotionally close friends and family), and are therefore vital to gaining new information and ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>Weak ties provide access to information and resources beyond those available in their own social circle. </li></ul>The Strength of Weak Ties (SWT) Acquaintances (Weak Ties) Personal Network Outside Network New information & ideas
  4. 4. <ul><li>Granovetter’s study found that weak ties were more important in gaining information about new job opportunities, since many strong ties new the same people and had the same information as one another. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individuals with few weak ties will be deprived of new information from distant parts of the social system and will be confined to the provincial news and views of their close friends. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, individuals tend to consult with strong ties before acting on information received from weak ties, because strong ties tend to be more motivated to assist and are more easily available. </li></ul></ul>The Strength of Weak Ties (SWT)
  5. 5. <ul><li>Granovetter offered the following conclusions: </li></ul><ul><li>What matters in getting ahead is not how close you are to those you know but, how many people you know to whom you aren't particularly close. </li></ul><ul><li>Social systems lacking in weak ties will be fragmented and incoherent , as new ideas spread slowly and groups separated by race, ethnicity, or geography won’t have the same access to information . </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural diffusion is made possible by small cohesive groups who share a culture that is not entirely closed and therefore can potentially share ideas via weak ties . </li></ul>The Strength of Weak Ties (SWT)
  6. 6. Facebook and the Strength of Weak Ties <ul><li>Anthropologist Robin Dunbar introduced the idea that the cognitive power of the brain limits the size of the social network that an individual of any given species can develop to around 150 (since referred to as the “Dunbar number.”) </li></ul><ul><li>Though theorists since have suggested this number may be larger, research Peter Marsden of Harvard posited that even if individuals socialize a lot, they have only a handful of intimate contacts. </li></ul><ul><li>Sociologist Cameron Marlow, of Facebook, analyzed the networks of users and found that an average man—one with 120 friends—generally responds to the postings of only seven of those friends by leaving comments on the posting individual’s photos, status messages or “wall,” and an average woman responds to ten. When it comes to two-way communication such as e-mails or chats, the average man interacts with only four people and the average woman with six. </li></ul><ul><li>The conclusion, then, is that as one adds Facebook “friends,” they are increasing their number of casual contacts (or weak ties), but not necessarily their core network. They are less forming bonds and more broadcasting themselves, with the potentiality of ultimately benefitting from the Strength of Weak Ties . </li></ul>

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