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Strong Ties, Weak Ties, Political Power

Understanding contemporary communication patterns means understanding the strength of weak ties. Here we review the original idea of strong and weak ties, then evaluate that original idea in today's media context.

Phil Howard

on 5 February 2018

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Transcript of Strong Ties, Weak Ties, Political Power

Strong + Weak Ties
Different ties are useful for different things.

Strong ties, to people like your family members and close friends, are best for marshaling physical resources.

Weak ties, to people like your classmates or professional contacts, are best for gathering information.

You are more likely to be able to borrow a car or get a small loan from your strong ties, and you are more likely to hear about a new job or dating prospect from a weak tie.
There is a debate over the nature of strong and weak ties, and their role in contemporary social movements.
Social Networks
A social network consists of one or more nodes (could be people, organizations, groups, nations)...

…connected by one or more ties (could be one or more relationships)...

…which form distinct, analyzable patterns (could study patterns of relationships or ties).
The Oracle of Bacon, to see how individuals connect to each other in surprising ways. http://oracleofbacon.org/
TheyRule.net, to see how wealthy individuals form elite networks; http://theyrule.net. Http://theyrule.net
Read "The Strength of Weak Ties" to understand what different ties are good for.
Social Networks
Social networks are webs of social relations that link individuals or groups to one another. Social networks:

make the world seem small, because we connect to each other in surprising ways;
perpetuate social inequalities;
allow us to "network"
are made of different kinds of ties.

Strong Ties, Weak Ties, Political Power
Gladwell and Morozov
Philip N. Howard

Node: individual actors within the network.

Mandatory Point of Passage: an obligatory node that is indispensable to a sub network.

Network Density: a ratio of the actual number of communication ties divided by the total possible ties.
Three Definitions
This work can be cited as Howard, P. (2017). Strong Ties, Weak Ties, Political Power [Prezi]. Retrieved from philhoward.org. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial - Share Alike 4.0 International License.
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