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The Changeability of Social Interaction: Formation and Evolution of Social Networks


  • Jing Shen


As structuralists assert, structural constraints define the probabilities of social interactions. I argue, however, that structural constraints are not static. Using Carley¡¯s (1991) social interaction model as a starting point, I discuss three modified scenarios to illustrate two points: 1) shared facts can either increase or decrease the probability of a desirable interaction, and 2) at the same time, social actors¡¯ active differentiation, selection, and creation of shared facts change the interaction patterns and further reconstruct the social structure. I supplement Carley¡¯s dynamic network model by taking into account the role of social actors in the formation of social interactions; the results highlight the need to study social networks from the structural level and individual level simultaneously.

Suggested Citation

  • Jing Shen, 2013. "The Changeability of Social Interaction: Formation and Evolution of Social Networks," International Journal of Social Science Studies, Redfame publishing, vol. 1(2), pages 64-72, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:rfa:journl:v:1:y:2013:i:2:p:64-72

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    social interaction; social structure; individual; constructive;

    JEL classification:

    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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