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Mathematics LibreTexts

8.8: Summary

 

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This chapter and the next are concerned with the ways in which networks display "structure" or deviation from random connection. In the current chapter, we've approached the same issue of structure from the "top-down" by looking at patterns of macro-structure in which individuals are embedded in non-random ways. Individuals are embedded (usually simultaneously) in dyads, triads, face-to-face local groups of neighbors, and larger organizational and categorical social structures. The tools in the current chapter provide some ways of examining the "texture" of the structuring of the whole population. 

In the next chapter, we will focus on the same issue of connection and structure from the "bottom-up". That is, we'll look at structure from the point of view of the individual "ego".

Taken together, the approaches in Chapters 8 and 9 illustrate, again, the "duality" of social structure in which individuals make social structure, but do so within a matrix of constraints and opportunities imposed by larger patterns.