Dirk's Reviews > Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives

Connected by Nicholas A. Christakis
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Feb 12, 12

Read from February 02 to 12, 2012

The book is very interesting as it provides a readable and intelligible introduction into studies of networks and social networks. It has been written by two promoters of social network theory. Hence you won't find any critique of the theories they promote in this book. For example the transposition of the network concepts from the natural sciences onto the social sciences remains unquestioned although there is a 100year old history of studies that criticise such transpositions. In particular, the description of social networks as "superorganism" did not agree with me.

Furthermore, it remains unclear where long established sociological concepts like group and organisation sit within the network approach argued for in this book. Also, there are inconsistencies in the place of individuals in networks, in particular when the authors introduce the notion of 'memory' into their network concept.

The book however offers a vast amount of examples to support network theory. I would recommend it to everyone interested in these approaches. I keep on looking for a book that links social network theory to existing theories and concepts in the social sciences.

One author who has embarked in this direction is Nick Crossley who book Relational Sociology will next on my list to read when I am ready for another book concerned with (social) networks.
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