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Understanding Social Networks: Theories, Concepts, and Findings Paperback – December 5, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (December 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195379470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195379471
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.7 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Images from Understanding Social Networks

Understanding Social Networks
“[With marketing] personal contact is most effective, if one can find a way to start a snowball rolling. Marketers call this 'viral marketing.' [In this image] researchers tracked recommendations for a Japanese graphic novel and illustrated the spread in a dense network.” (Kadushin, 9)
Understanding Social Networks
“Each of these five-person cliques is totally connected and mutual. But no one can be a member of the other clique without all ten being connected and mutual.” (Kadushin, 47)
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review


"[I]ntegrates the history, theories, and substantive applications of social network analysis... should be especially accessible to neophytes... Despite the nontechnical treatment, Kadushin encompasses deep analytic coverage and broad empirical research...The final chapter summarizes the conceptual tour de force in 'Ten Master Ideas of Social Networks.'" --David Knonke, Contemporary Sociology


"Finally! A sociologically informed and compelling introduction to social network analysis by one of the giants of the field. While there has been dramatic recent growth in the study of networks, new entrants often miss much of the rich history and compelling social theory that has been the field's foundation. This book represents an introduction to networks for social scientists and students looking to learn the 'why' of social network analysis, rather than computational detail. An all-around gem that should take a canonical place in social network courses." --James Moody, Duke University


"Social networks are more than Facebook or a set of methods. Charles Kadushin is a veteran in thinking about what social networks do and what they mean. This thoughtful book provides a host of knowledge about how social networks operate in small groups, organizations and throughout society. Kadushin's ten master ideas distill the essence of social networks." --Barry Wellman, S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto


"In Understanding Social Networks Charles Kadushin dispels the myth that social network research is simply methodology. The book is chock full of ideas that lay out vast terrains ripe for future research and exploration. All of the ideas are buttressed with historical documentation and developed within the context of existing social, psychological, economic, and other theories. Bravo!" --Thomas Valente, University of Southern California


"Charles Kadushin is one of the sociologists who pioneered social network analysis and he has continued to make stimulating, thoughtful contributions. His new book provides a lucid, revealing introduction to the basic ideas and findings of the social networks field." --Claude S. Fischer, University of California, Berkeley


"He now caps a distinguished scholarly career with an exposition that integrates the history, theories, and substantive applications of social network analysis. ... Through his numerous insights into the origins and evolution of social network analysis over the past half century, Charles Kadushin demonstrates once again the deep wisdom of that great public philosopher, Yogi Berra, who noted, "You can observe a lot by watching." --Contemporary Sociology


"Kadushin is clearly a seasoned master in social network analysis, and this book is proof of his ability to continue to be relevant in the field... The book is fabulously concise, which will be appreciated by instructors who wish to assign supplementary reading to their students... Highly recommended." --CHOICE



More About the Author

Charles Kadushin is Professor Emeritus Sociology, Graduate Center, CUNY and Distinguished Scholar, Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and Visiting Research Professor, Sociology, Brandeis University. He has also taught at Columbia University in the Sociology and Social Psychology Departments and at Yale University in the School of Management and in Graduate Sociology.

A leading authority on the design and analysis of survey research. He has extensive experience developing sampling methodology for difficult-to-reach populations and in the use of advanced multivariate statistical techniques. A founder of the social network field, he helped to create some of the first computer tools for the analysis of large sized social networks. Helped to develop state of the art methods for Internet surveys.

His two guides to research are:
Casey Stengel, "And you can look it up," and
Yogi Berra, "You can observe a lot by watching."

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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I recommend this book highly to my clients.
Valdis Krebs
What this book clarifies is the “object” of social networking theory.
J. Richard Johnson
Very easy to read with very thorough detail.
M. Kochanowski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By grandstar on May 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a Ph.D. student specializing in social network analysis (SNA) and, thus, having read several SNA books, I would like to strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in this area. Caution: this is not a book about SNA software or tools; instead, it is about the basic concepts, their underlying social or pscyhological theories, and limitations, which reflect the most recent advancements in this field. Although some sections of the book (e.g., about psychological motivations of social networking) might be a little difficult to follow for students who are not familiar with the topic, the overall contents of the book are easy to read and understand. In particular, what I like most about this book is that the author offers a section of network resarch ethics (which is rare in other books) and, in each chapter, plenty of research directions needed to be explored. At the end of the book, the author presents ten master ideas in the social network study (e.g., homophily, social capital, etc.) as a 12-page-long summary of his book, which, as for me, seems to be the most succint, comprehensive summary about key concepts and findings of SNA up to now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Dickard on April 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is a great intro to social networks and provides a strong bibliography for those interested in further reading. It also outlines areas for further research, which is helpful for those who want to explore the world of social networks empirically or theoretically. The main strength of the book is that it covers a myriad of perspectives on social networks ranging from psychological and motivational to sociological to mathematical, and thus from a micro- to macro-level analyses.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Richard Johnson on January 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As indicated by my rating, I found Understanding Social Networks to be an excellently written and useful book. I will provide an overview of its approach, and offer a couple of concrete examples of matters treated by its author that were of special interest to me. By so doing, I hope to give prospective readers at least a taste of the quality and style of this book.

Understanding Social Networks begins by with the introduction of basic network ideas, adding complexity as it goes. Kadushin artfully weaves in the most important findings of small group theory as he develops his presentation, and supplies clear and fascinating examples to illustrate the concepts. A reader who is comfortable with high school algebra will find the math in this book to be pretty easy: Kadushin avoids dealing with theorems, algorithms, and computations. This is as it should be. What this book clarifies is the “object” of social networking theory. A student who is interested in learning about social network theory is better advised to start with a book such as this one; the math can be learned later. Besides, there are other books, some quite good, which focus on the math.

My first serious encounter with network theory took place back in the late 1980s. I was actually studying operations research at that time, and needed to know graph theory, the mathematical basis of networking theory. In the process, I stumbled into some materials concerning “structural balance,” a social networking concept. On my first encounter with this material, I flippantly (and naively) concluded that, if one had the data to build a graph and then to determine whether it was “balanced,” one would already know everything of value that the graph-theoretic model could contain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Flo on November 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Complete and accessible book to begin the study of Social Networks. I expected more on how to analyze the cool graphs that are possible to make today, but difficult to explain and make sense. Still, I think is a good entry door to more complex and complete Social Network Analysis.
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By Manuel Medina on June 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a social investigator, this book helps you understand the capabilities of Social Network Analysis from a social scientist point of view without having to deal with all the math behind it. I recommend this book as a nice start for any social investigator who whishes to explore Social Networks.
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