East York: First and Second Studiesn
East York is a distinct residential area in the heart of Toronto. The first East York study (1968, survey) and the second study (1978, in-depth interviews) pioneered the study of personal networks. These studies were among the first to show the dispersed nature of community ties and that different kinds of relationships (parent-child, friends, etc.) provide different types of social support (emotional aid, financial aid, etc.)
An account of the origin and design of the East York studies.
[Social Networks 15, Dec, 1993: 423-36.]
Did Distance Matter Before the Internet? (By Diana Mok, Barry Wellman, with Ranu Basu).
Well before the coming of the Internet, strong ties with friends and relatives stretched well beyond the neighborhood: the traditional domain of community. Phones, cars and planes allowed people to have contact over substantial distances. But the mere fact that ties stretched over long distances does not tell us the extent to which distance mattered for contact and support in pre-Internet days. Although scholars have mused about this question, they have not provided empirical evidence. This paper applies multi-level analysis to assess the extent contact and support declines with distance. It shows a marked drop in the frequency of face-to-face contact at about five miles. The frequency of contact continues to decrease steadily further away, with substantial declines happening at about 50 miles and 100 miles. Distance affects telephone contact somewhat differently, with a marked drop only happening at about 100 miles. Distance also has a significant impact on providing tangible support. As our data were gathered in 1978 in the Toronto area of East York, they allow comparisons with how relationships have changed in light of new forms of communication, such as the Internet and mobile phones.
[2007. Social Networks 29, 3 (July): 430-61.]
Different Strokes from Different Folks – Community Ties and Social Support (with Scot Wortley).
Continues the “Community Question” story (above), by using qualitative and quantitative data from the second East York study to show how different types of community relationships (especially kinship, friendship) affect the provision of different kinds of social support. See also “Network Capital in a Multi-Level World”.
[American Journal of Sociology 96, November, 1990: 558-88.]
Domestic Affairs and Network Relations (with Beverly Wellman).
Where community ties provide differentiated support, the marital ties of East Yorkers provide broadly-based support.
[Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 9, August, 1992: 385-409.]
[Pp. 159-91 in Understanding Personal Relationships, edited by Steve Duck and Daniel Perlman. London: Sage, 1985.]
How Telephone Networks Connect Social Networks (Barry Wellman and David B. Tindall).
[Progress in Communication Science 12 (1993): 63-94]
Compares the personal communities of men and women. Argues that there has been a privatization, domestication, and feminization of community.
[Pp. 74-114 in Men’s Friendships. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1992.]
Network Capital in a Multi-Level World – Getting Support from Personal Communities (with Kenneth Frank).
On the methodological side, combines tie-level and network-level analyses of social support in East York. On the substantive side, provides better analysis of the data examined in “The Community Question” and “Different Strokes …” (above). On the theoretical side, shows that individual agency, interpersonal duets, and network processes all affect the provision of social support.
[Pp.233-273 in Social Capital: Theory and Research, edited by Nan Lin, Karen Cook and Ronald Burt. Chicago: Aldine DeGruyter, 2001.]
This article reports the basic findings of the second East York study on the composition, frequency-proximity of contact, structure, content-support, and of personal network members.
[Pp. 130-184 in Social Structures: A Network Analysis,edited by Barry Wellman and S.D. Berkowitz. Cambridge, UK:Cambridge University Press, 1988.]
Statistical Profiles – East York 1981-2005 and Chapleau 2001 (Sarah Gram, Barry Wellman and Julie Amoroso).
This report uses census data and NetLab survey statistics to profile East York and Chapleau at approximately the time of our research and interviews for the second (1979) and third (2004-2005) East York studies. These profiles are intended to be introductions to the characteristics of two areas studied by NetLab’s Connected Lives projects: the area of East York in metropolitan Toronto and the northern Ontario town of Chapleau. The information in this profile is drawn from Canadian censuses as well as from the data collected by the Connected Lives project. These profiles compare East York at two points in time, when they were studied by NetLab in the late 1970s and again in 2004-2005. It also compares contemporary East York with Chapleau.
“Studying Personal Communities”
How to do personal community network research, with special reference to the East York studies.
[Pp. 61-80 in Social Networks and Social Structure, edited by Peter Marsden and Nan Lin. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1982.]
Support and Non-Support – A Network Analytic Approach (Alan Hall and Barry Wellman)
Using a network analytic approach to study social support has helped us go beyond treating communities only as densely-knit solidarities. We have become increasingly aware of the variety of community ties and networks in terms of their composition, structure and content. Data from our East York study shows that ties are markedly differentiated in terms of the kinds of supportive resources they provide (including many non-supportive ties), the breadth of support, reciprocity, structural embeddedness and voluntarism. We discuss implications of this differentiation for the political economy of communities.
[A. Hall, B. Wellman, Support and Non-Support: A Network Analytic Approach, October 1982, 37 pp.]
Uses data from the first East York (Toronto) study to show how large-scale social changes have affected the nature of personal communities and the support they provide. The story is continued in “Different Strokes …” and “Network Capital in a Multi-Level World” .
[American Journal of Sociology 84, March, 1979: 1201-31.]
Tit-for-Tat and All That – Reciprocity in East York in the 1970s (By Barry Wellman, Rochelle R. Côté and Gabriele Plickert)
This web-only paper synthesizes and expands on two papers that have appeared in a journal (It’s Not Who You Know, It’s How You Know Them: Who Exchanges What With Whom?” Social Networks 29, 3, July: 405-29.) and book (Pp. 49-71 in Contexts of Social Capital: Social Networks in Markets, Communities and Families, edited by Ray-May Hsung, Nan Lin and Ronald Breiger. London: Routledge.). It asks: does the Golden Rule rule? Although saints, sages, sinners and scholars have talked about reciprocity, we use data from the second East York study to provide the first-ever survey-based analysis of the relational determinants of exchanges between two persons. We find that the principal causal relationship of reciprocity is giving: those who give help are much more likely to receive it back — and usually the same kind of help. Reciprocity turns out to be an efficient, focused and effective way of using social capital.
Original First East York Survey, 1968. D.B. Coates Principal Investigator; Barry Wellman Co-Investigator.
This is the Interview Schedule for the Second East York Social Networks Project. Data was collected in 1977 and 78. See Different Strokes From Different Strokes (with Scott Wortley) below.
NAVEL and ENOW Studies
How Networked are Scholars in a Networked Organization? (By Barry Wellman and Dimitrina Dimitrova, with Zack Hayat, Guang Ying Mo and Lilia Smale).
In this paper, we describe the research of our NAVEL team studying Canada’s GRAND Network of Centres of Excellence, a networked organization of scholars. GRAND consists of loosely coupled projects whose scholars work in multiple teams and juggle assignments. Moreover, GRAND’s geographically distributed teams use the internet, mobile media, planes and cars to connect their offices, labs, homes, and public spaces. We find that in GRAND opposing characteristics co-exist: to some extent it exhibits the cross-boundary flows, relatively flat authority structure, and distant ties expected in a post-bureaucratic networked organization model. Yet, it also exhibits the communication hierarchy, within-discipline ties, and spatial concentration of traditional bureaucratic organizations.
NAVEL Gazing – Studying a Networked Scholarly Organization (with Dimitrina Dimitrova, Anatoliy Gruzd, Zack Hayat, Guang Ying Mo, Diana Mok, Thomas Robbins, and Xiaolin Zhuo).
In this paper, we describe the research of our NAVEL team studying Canada’s GRAND Network of Centres of Excellence, consisting primarily of computer scientists and social scientists. We find that at its current stage the most numerous ties that hold the network together are Know, Work With, and being Friends and that researchers communicate with their colleagues primarily via traditional academic media (email and face-to-face). For the time being, ties across disciplines are not extensive and affiliation within provinces is the norm. Importantly, in spite of earlier discussions about virtual and networked organizations, we find that hierarchy still matters when it comes to communication. The differences in formal positions are related to centrality in communication structures, suggesting that GRAND researchers in higher formal positions have consistent advantages in their communication. These findings confirm and expand our understanding of the complex nature of networked organizations.
[Submitted to Advances in Network Analysis and its Applications, Springer Series in Mathematics in Industry, edited by Evangelos Kranakis. Berlin: Springer, forthcoming.]
Networking Scholars in a Networked Organization (by Barry Wellman, Dimitrina Dimitrova, Zack Hayat, Guang Ying Mo and Lilia Smale)
Long-standing traditions of long-distance collaboration and networking make scholars a good test case for differentiating hype and reality in distributed, networked organizations. Our study of Canadian scholars in the GRAND research networks finds that they function more as connected individuals and less as members of a single bounded work group, often meeting their needs by tapping into diversified, loosely knit networks. Their internet use interpenetrates with in-person contact: the more they use one, the more they use the other. Despite digital networking, local proximity is important for collaboration and seniority for inter-team and interdisciplinary boundary spanning.
[Research in the Sociology of Organizations Special Issue: Contemporary Perspectives on Organizational Social Network Analysis (40). Edited by Daniel Brass, Joe Labianca, Ajay Mehra, Daniel Halgin, and Stephen Borgatti. Bingley, UK: Emerald, 2014. pp. 475-93]
The Evolution of Relationships in the GRAND Network (by the NAVEL Team)
This report details the evolution of the collaborative ties in GRAND. Because these collaborative ties reflect the synergies among members and indicate opportunities for knowledge sharing, their evolution can serve as a measure of the successes or failures of the network. This analysis examines how GRAND changed since 2010 when the network became operational. The discussion focuses on the main changes in patterns of ties, factors impacting tie development, the implications of ties for performance, and the satisfaction of GRAND members with the network.
Understanding Sequencing in Social Network Communications (with Guang Ying Mo).
Sequencing is an indispensable decision-making process during information flows. This paper proposes the conceptualization of sequencing to understand how and why information senders prioritize some network members when they communicate with others. We examine the usefulness of this conceptualization with data collected from GRAND, a scholarly network. The concept of sequencing enables researchers to explore the decision-making process that occurs prior to information flows and link individuals’ behavior to the social context.
[Bulletin de Methodologie Sociologique 133, (2012): 76-87.]
Using Multiple Membership Multilevel Models to Examine Multilevel Networks in Networked Organizations (Guang Ying Mo and Barry Wellman).
As the network structures of work and community have grown more complex, multilevel networks have emerged as the main structural feature in organizational settings. Stressing the importance of the affiliation ties of the meso-level network, we propose a conceptualization of multilevel networks within networked organizations. To examine such networks, researchers have used both hierarchical linear models (HLMs), and exponential random graph models (ERGMs) and both show strengths and weaknesses. HLMs have focused on the effects of group characteristics on individual level nodes, and assumed that each node is affiliated with only one group. Thus they are unable to analyze the complexity of the cross-cutting ties in multievel network data from networked organizations. ERGMs, on the other hand, have been used for analyzing such networks and are able to show if the presence of certain ties shapes the development of others. However, these models assume that networks are self-organizing systems of endogenous ties and, as a result, exogenous factors are excluded from them. In this paper, we propose a new method of multiple membership multilevel models that reveal the complexity of the network at the meso-level, i.e., multiple ties between one individual-level node and multiple group-level nodes. To accomplish this we offer an examination of the Canadian research organization, GRAND NCE (Graphics, Animation, New Media and Design Network of Centers of Excellence).
[Forthcoming, 2014. Special Issue of Social Networks.]
(Excluding NAVEL and ENOW Studies available above)
Does Citation Reflect Social Structure? Longitudinal Evidence from the ‘Globenet’ Interdisciplinary Reserach Group (with Howard D. White and Nancy Nazer).
Scholars use and cite each other’s work. Is it because of who they know or what they know? Here, social networks meet citation networks as we study the interplay between relationships and citations within an international and interdisciplinary research group.
[Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 55, 2 (January 2004): 111-26.]
Netting Scholars – Online and Offline (with Emmanuel Koku and Nancy Nazer).
Shows how scholars use email as a complement to in-person communciation. Argues that scholarly networks epitomized loosely-coupled networked and virtual organizations.
[American Behavioral Scientist 44 (10), June, 2001: 1750-72. Listed at PESOS (“Penn Economic and Organizational Sociology Working Paper Abstract Series”), University of Pennsylvania, November 2000.]
Networked Scholarship (with Emmanuel Koku and Jeremy Hunsinger).
Page proofs of a review of scholarly networks and scholarly community research for The International Handbook of Virtual Learning Environments (2006).
Networked Work and Network Research- New Forms of Teamwork in the Triple Revolution (Dimitrina Dimitrova and Barry Wellman)
There has been more hype than evidence about networked work. The researchers in the two parts of this double issue issue use survey, interview, and sensor data to present systematic evidence about how networked work actually works. The first part of the issue (April) presents four articles about how professionals network. The second part of the issue (May) focuses on a particular kind of networked work—scholarly networks— including studies of how such networks change over time. Taken together, these articles show that workers tend to network with similar others. Although they integrate digital media into their work lives, they nevertheless tend to work with nearby colleagues.
[American Behavioral Scientist 59 (4), Mar, 2015: 443–456.]
Scholarly Networks as Learning Communities – The Case of Technet (with Emmanuel Koku).
[Pp. 299-337 in Building Online Communities in the Service of Learning, edited by Sasha Barab, Rob Kling, and James H. Gray. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.]
Work, Friendship and Media Use for Information Exchange in a Networked Organization (with Caroline Haythornthwaite).
Using data from an R&D organization, analyzes the extent to which e-mail supplants or supplements in-person communication, and the kinds of interaction (emotional, instrumental) for which email is used.
[Journal of the American Society for Information Science 49, 12, October, 1998: 1101-14.]
An analysis of the Canadian Water Network, linking scholars, organizations (for-profit and NGO) and government officials investigating water quality. Network analysis of the participants and their publications shows that a small number of senior physical/life scientists are at the core, with junior scholars and social scientists more peripheral. Recommendations are made to improve the interconnectedness of the network.
Doing Business at Home and Away – Policy Implications of Chinese-Canadian Entrepreneurship (With Wenhong Chen. For the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, 2007).
This report presents findings from the Transnational Immigrant Entrepreneurship Study. We demonstrate the contribution of transnational entrepreneurship to economic ties between Canada and immigrant source countries. Second, we investigate the causes and dynamics of transnational entrepreneurship between China and Canada and show how it is facilitated by state policies, cross-border networks and the Internet.
We find that 42% of Chinese Canadian entrepreneurs are transnational. They are bridge builders: nearly three-quarters have helped Canadian firms do business in their home countries or home country firms in Canada. They depend on large “glocalized” and diverse networks that have both global connections and local interactions.They also use the Internet more productively.
Net and Jet – The Internet Use, Travel and Social Networks of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs (Wenhong Chen and Barry Wellman).
How does the connectivity afforded by new communication and transportation technologies affect entrepreneurs’ geographic and social closeness to each other? Using qualitative and quantitative evidence we analyze how Chinese Canadian entrepreneurs combine the Internet and airplane travel in their business activities. Our results show that the use of new communication and transportation technologies are positively related to to the creation and maintenance of “glocalized” networks, a function of both local embeddedness and global outreach. We find that online interaction cannot replace face-to-face interaction; travel abroad is crucial for adding a human touch to glocalized networks. Moreover, while technologies help to liberate communication from being local, Internet use and travel have limited impact on the ethnic diversity of the entrepreneurs’ social networks. Dedicated to Daniel Barry Li.
[Information, Communication and Society 12, 4 (June 2009).]
An account of the origin and design of the East York studies.
[Social Networks 15, Dec, 1993: 423-36.]
Doing It Ourselves – The SPSS Manual as Sociology’s Most Influential Recent Book (expanded version by Barry Wellman).
[Pp. 71-78 in Required Reading: Sociology’s Most Influential Books, edited by Dan Clawson. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998.]
A step-by-step guide for using SAS to analyze survey data in which respondents report about each of their network members.
[Cultural Anthropology Methods Bulletin 4, June, 1992: 6-12.]
How to Use SPSS to Study Ego-Centered Networks (with Christoph Mueller and Alexandra Marin).
A step-by-step guide for using SPSS to analyze survey data in which respondents report about each of their network members.
[Bulletin de Methode Sociologique 69, Oct., 1999: 83-100.]
How to Write — and Edit — a Paper (Revised version).
Notes gathered in the past decade for workshops.
Tips gleaned from indexing Rainie & Wellman, Networked book.
Social Network Theory, Reviews and Essays
While most community networks are non-local, most interactions within these networks are with physically proximate neighbors and workmates.
[Social Networks 18, 3, September, 1996: 347-354.]
[Contemporary Sociology 37, 3 (May 2008): 221-22.]
Canada as Social Structure – Social Network Analysis and Canadian Sociology (David Tindall and Barry Wellman).
[In the Canadian Journal of Sociology, 26(3), Fall, 2001: Pp.265-308. Special issue on “The Legacy of Canadian Sociology,” edited by Harry Hiller.]
Challenges in Collecting Personal Network Data (By Barry Wellman).
An introduction to the special issue of Field Methods (May 2007) focusing on collecting and visualizing personal networks.
[Field Methods 19,2 (May 2007):111-115.]
Argues the transition from group-based to networked society, in the realms of community and work.
[Pp.94-114 in Sociology for the Twenty-first Century, edited by Janet Abu-Lughod. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.]
This critique of the “social brain” hypothesis of Robin Dunbar and associates sketches a variety of data that call into question the Dunbar number assertion that the cognitive capacity of humans is limited to 150 meaningful relationships. I also sketch evidence that personal relationships have more complex structures than one-dimensional concentric zones of strong to weak ties.
[British Journal of Psychology, 102: 2011.]
[Pp. 10-25 in Digital Cities II: Computational and Sociological Approaches, edited by Makoto Tanabe, Peter van den Besselaar and Toru Ishida. Berlin: Springer, 2002.]
NetLab (with Dimitrina Dimitrova).
An account of the people, principles, projects and accomplishments of our NetLab.
[ Pp. 42-63 in Encyclopedia of Cyber Behavior, edited by Zheng Yan. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2012.]
Acceptance speech for the 2001 Canadian Sociological and Anthropological Association Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award. Combines biographical reminisces with an account of work at NetLab.
Networking Guanxi (with Wenhong Chen and Dong Weizhen).
[Pp. 221-41. in Social Connections in China: Institutions, Culture and the Changing Nature of Guanxi, edited by Thomas Gold, Douglas Guthrie and David Wank. Cambridge University Press, 2002.]
A non-technical introduction to social network analysis.
[Presented at the Sunbelt Social Network Conference, February 2003.]
Collection of original articles about personal communities around the world.
[Networks in the Global Village, edited by Barry Wellman. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999.]
Historical account by the founder of the society.
[Connections 23, 1, Summer 2000: 20-31.]
Networks, Neighborhoods, and Communities – Approaches to the Study of the Community Question (Barry Wellman and Barry Leighton).
We propose a network analytic approach to the community question in order to separate the study of communities from the study of neighborhoods. Three arguments about the community question – that “community” has been “lost,” “saved,” or “liberated” – are reviewed for their development, network depictions, imagery, policy implications, and current status. The lost argument contends that communal ties have become attenuated in industrial bureaucratic societies; the saved argument contends that neighborhood communities remain as important sources of sociability, support and mediation with formal institutions; the liberated argument maintains that while communal ties still flourish, they have disperesed beyond the neighborhood and are no longer clustered in solidary communities. Our review finds that both the saved and liberated arguments proposed viable network patterns under appropriate conditions, for social systems as well as individuals.
[Urban Affairs Quarterly, 14(3). March 1979: 363-390.]
Personal Communities – The World According to Me (Vincent Chua, Julia Madej and Barry Wellman).
In this lengthy review, we describe the nature of personal communities: their characteristics and their consequences. We discuss how to collect information about personal communities. The topics include the nature of personal communities as contrasted with personal networks; the rise of networked individualism; the impact of social software such as Facebook; characteristics of personal communities such as geographical dispersion, network density, homogeneity, specialized ties, kinship/friendship, social support, and variations by social location and national context. For reasons of space, we focus on personal communities in the developed world, but bring in some comparative information from elsewhere.
[Pp. 101-115 in Handbook of Social Network Analysis edited by Peter Carrington and John Scott. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2011.]
Personal Communities – The World According to Me – Extended Version (Vincent Chua, Julia Madej and Barry Wellman).
In this lengthy review, we describe the nature of personal communities: their characteristics and their consequences. We discuss how to collect information about personal communities. The topics include the nature of personal communities as contrasted with personal networks; the rise of networked individualism; the impact of social software such as Facebook; characteristics of personal communities such as geographical dispersion, network density, homogeneity, specialized ties, kinship/friendship, social support, and variations by social location and national context. For reasons of space, we focus on personal communities in the developed world, but bring in some comparative information from elsewhere. A shorter version is published in the Sage Handbook of Social Network Analysis, edited by Peter Carrington and John Scott.
An integrated presentation of personal communities and social support in networked societies.
[Pp. 1-47 in Networks in the Global Village, edited by Barry Wellman. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999.]
An introduction to the special issue of “Social Networks” focusing on the analysis of personal networks.
[Social Networks 29, 3 (July):349-56.]
Social Network Analysis – An Introduction (Alexandra Marin and Barry Wellman).
In this chapter, we begin by discussing issues involved in defining social networks, and then go on to describe three principles implicit in the social network perspective. We explain how these principles set network analysis apart from attribute- or group-based perspectives. In Section II we summarize the theoretical roots of network analysis and the current state of the field, while in Section III we discuss theoretical approaches to asking and answering questions using a network analytic approach. In Section IV we turn our attention to social network methods – which we see as a set of tools for applying network theory rather than as the defining feature of network analysis. In our concluding section we argue that social network analysis is best understood as a perspective within the social sciences and not as a method or narrowly-defined theory.
[Pp. 11-25 in Handbook of Social Network Analysis edited by Peter Carrington and John Scott. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2011.]
Introduction to Social Network Analysis
Presents network analytic theory, with substantive examples.
[Pp. 19-61 in Social Structures a Network Approach, edited by Barry Wellman & S.D. Berkowitz. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1988.]
Reviews different conceptions of community, the transformation of community into spatially-dispersed social networks, and how the Internet is affecting community on and offline.
[Report to the Law Commission of Canada, 2001. 101 pp.]
[Marriage and Family Review 15, 1/2, 1990: 195-228. Review article.]
A Plague of Viruses – Biological, Computer and Marketing (With Jeffrey Boase).
[Current Sociology 49, 6 (November 2001): 39-55.]
Where Does Social Support Come From? The Social Network Basis of Interpersonal Resources for Coping with Stress (With Milena Gulia and Stephanie Potter).
[Chapter 15 in Socioeconomic Conditions, Stress and Mental Disorders: Toward a New Synthesis of Research and Public Policy. 2002.]
Final pre-publication draft. This chapter describes the composition and structure of personal community networks. It concentrates on the score or so ties that are actively used, and especially on the half-dozen or so close, intimate ties. It integrates research findings from hundreds of scholars up until 1990 to discuss which types of ties and networks provide different kinds of social support.
[Advances in Group Processes (1992) 9: 207-35.]