Social Networks and Society
How many “friends” do you have? Millions of people use social networking websites, such as Facebook or Twitter, nearly every day. Even before the Internet, the way we communicated with friends, family, and colleagues created “networks” that connected us with one another, but also produced limiting social boundaries. Simply put, as long as people communicate with each other, social networks exist, with both expansive and constraining effects. This seminar introduces you to how scholars study social networks and use them to make sense of society. We will examine how our forms of communication affect our opportunities to achieve our goals and to manage our relationships. We will also look at how our communication builds up into large entities – organizations. In all, we will explore how our social networks help to create the fabric of society.