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Sinclair, B. 2016. “Network Structure and Social Outcome.” Computational social science, Pp. 3226-3686.

Human behavior is characterized by connections to others. We define ourselves by these connections: our families, our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers all form a social geography. Social scientists who study networks serve as cartographers for these social plains, identifying actors who influence others. In their overview of the study of political networks, McClurg and Young (2011) state, “We would probably all agree that one primary tie among political scientists is our emphasis on power, and understanding how and why power is used. We are all inherently interested in the exercise of power between and among individuals and groups and the implications that this exercise holds for social outcomes. We contend that this unifying concept is, at its very core, relational.” Social scientists have an interest in relational social science, with roles as either researchers directly focusing on relationships between actors or else as scholars accounting for interdependence among actors and institutions in their analyses.

Rex Deng

Written by Rex Deng

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