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Structural Cohesion and Embeddedness: A Hierarchical Conception of Social Groups

Author

Listed:
  • James Moody
  • Douglas R. White

Abstract

While questions about social cohesion lie at the core of our discipline, no clear definition of cohesion exists. We present a definition of structural cohesion based on network connectivity that leads to an operationalization of a dimension of social embeddedness. Structural cohesion is defined as the minimum number of actors who, if removed from a group, would disconnect the group. This definition leads to hierarchically nested groups, where highly cohesive groups are embedded within less cohesive groups. An algorithm developed and implemented (by Authors) identifies these nested groups by levels of structural cohesion, and thus measures the maximum levels of structural cohesion possessed by individuals as members of structurally cohesive subgroups. We discuss the theoretical implications of this definition and demonstrate the empirical applicability of our conception of nestedness by testing the predicted correlates of our cohesion measure within high school friendship and interlocking directorate networks.

Suggested Citation

  • James Moody & Douglas R. White, 2000. "Structural Cohesion and Embeddedness: A Hierarchical Conception of Social Groups," Working Papers 00-08-049, Santa Fe Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:00-08-049
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    Cited by:

    1. Doo Kim & Ji Kim, 2013. "Social Relations and School Life Satisfaction in South Korea," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 112(1), pages 105-127, May.
    2. repec:spr:annopr:v:249:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-015-1992-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Galina Daraganova & Philippa Pattison, 2014. "Analysing human social networks," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Spatially Integrated Social Science, chapter 21, pages 459-488 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Kjersten Bunker Whittington, 2009. "Patterns of Male and Female Scientific Dissemination in Public and Private Science," NBER Chapters,in: Science and Engineering Careers in the United States: An Analysis of Markets and Employment, pages 195-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Crespo, Joan & Réquier-Desjardins, Denis & Vicente, Jérôme, 2014. "Why can collective action fail in Local Agri-food Systems? A social network analysis of cheese producers in Aculco, Mexico," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 165-177.
    6. Arora, Saurabh & Sanditov, Bulat, 2009. "Caste as Community? Networks of social affinity in a South Indian village," MERIT Working Papers 037, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    7. repec:spr:amsrev:v::y::i::d:10.1007_s13162-017-0089-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Pramila Krishnan & Emanuela Sciubba, 2009. "Links and Architecture in Village Networks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 917-949, April.
    9. Andréasson, Hannes & Elert, Niklas & Karlson, Nils, 2013. "Does Social Cohesion Really Promote Reforms?," Ratio Working Papers 211, The Ratio Institute.
    10. Delio Lucena Piquero & Jerome Vicente, 2017. "The visible hand of cluster policy makers: An analysis of Aerospace Valley (2006-2015) using a place-based network methodology," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1723, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Sep 2017.
    11. repec:spr:scient:v:113:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2496-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Geys, Benny, 2012. "Association membership and generalised trust: Are connections between associations losing their value?," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2012-101, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    13. repec:spr:scient:v:101:y:2014:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1312-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. R. Quentin Grafton & Stephen Knowles & P. Dorian Owen, 2002. "Social Divergence and Productivity: Making a Connection," The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress,in: Andrew Sharpe, Executive Director & France St-Hilaire, Vice-President , Research & Keith Banting, Di (ed.), The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress 2002: Towards a Social Understanding of Productivity, volume 2 Centre for the Study of Living Standards;The Institutute for Research on Public Policy.
    15. Daw, Jonathan & Margolis, Rachel & Verdery, Ashton M., 2015. "Siblings, friends, course-mates, club-mates: How adolescent health behavior homophily varies by race, class, gender, and health status," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 32-39.
    16. Wang, Tao & Wang, Hongjue & Wang, Xiaoxia, 2015. "A novel cosine distance for detecting communities in complex networks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 437(C), pages 21-35.
    17. Fernando Rajulton & Zenaida Ravanera & Roderic Beaujot, 2007. "Measuring Social Cohesion: An Experiment using the Canadian National Survey of Giving, Volunteering, and Participating," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 80(3), pages 461-492, February.
    18. Michael D. Ryall & Olav Sorenson, 2007. "Brokers and Competitive Advantage," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(4), pages 566-583, April.
    19. María del Pilar Castillo & salazar boris, 2009. "Un modelo de redes sociales para la deserción," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO-CIDSE 011034, UNIVERSIDAD DEL VALLE - CIDSE.
    20. Russo, Margherita & Rossi, Federica, 2008. "Cooperation networks and innovation: A complex system perspective to the analysis and evaluation of a EU regional innovation policy programme," MPRA Paper 10156, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. repec:hur:ijaraf:v:7:y:2017:i:3:p:182-197 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Hatani, Faith & McGaughey, Sara L., 2013. "Network cohesion in global expansion: An evolutionary view," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 455-465.
    23. repec:spr:scient:v:60:y:2004:i:2:d:10.1023_b:scie.0000027678.31097.e0 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Pattillo, Jeffrey & Youssef, Nataly & Butenko, Sergiy, 2013. "On clique relaxation models in network analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 226(1), pages 9-18.

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