Social Networks


A social network is a social structure made up of a set of social actors, sets of dyadic ties, and other social interactions between actors.

In the social sciences, social structure is the patterned social arrangements in society that are both emergent from and determinant of the actions of the individuals.

The term social refers to a characteristic of living organisms as applied to populations of humans and other animals.

In social science, a social relation or social interaction is any relationship between two or more individuals.

Social Networking in Plain English by Common Craft


The social network perspective provides a set of methods for analyzing the structure of whole social entities as well as a variety of theories explaining the patterns observed in these structures.

Dos and Don'ts when using social networks by leadinginnovation


The study of these structures uses social network analysis to identify local and global patterns, locate influential entities, and examine network dynamics.

Social network analysis is the process of investigating social structures through the use of network and graph theories.


Social networks and the analysis of them is an inherently interdisciplinary academic field which emerged from social psychology, sociology, statistics, and graph theory.

In psychology, social psychology is the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others.

In mathematics graph theory is the study of graphs, which are mathematical structures used to model pairwise relations between objects.

Sociology is the study of social behaviour or society, including its origins, development, organization, networks, and institutions.


Georg Simmel authored early structural theories in sociology emphasizing the dynamics of triads and "web of group affiliations".

Georg Simmel was a German sociologist, philosopher, and critic.


Jacob Moreno is credited with developing the first sociograms in the 1930s to study interpersonal relationships.

Jacob Levy Moreno was an Austrian-American psychiatrist, psychosociologist, and educator, the founder of psychodrama, and the foremost pioneer of group psychotherapy.

An interpersonal relationship is a strong, deep, or close association or acquaintance between two or more people that may range in duration from brief to enduring.

A sociogram is a graphic representation of social links that a person has.


These approaches were mathematically formalized in the 1950s and theories and methods of social networks became pervasive in the social and behavioral sciences by the 1980s.


Social network analysis is now one of the major paradigms in contemporary sociology, and is also employed in a number of other social and formal sciences.


Together with other complex networks, it forms part of the nascent field of network science.

Network science is an academic field which studies complex networks such as telecommunication networks, computer networks, biological networks, cognitive and semantic networks, and social networks, considering distinct elements or actors represented by nodes and the connections between the elements or actors as links.

In the context of network theory, a complex network is a graph with non-trivial topological features—features that do not occur in simple networks such as lattices or random graphs but often occur in graphs modelling of real systems.

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