Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

The Strength of Weak Ties and Issues of Embeddedness: A Review of Granovetter's Theories on Social Network and organization/FORCES DE POINTS FAIBLES ET ISSUES D'ENFONCEMENT : UNE REVUE DE THEORIES DEGRANOVETTER SUR L'ANALYSE ET L'ORGANISATION DU RESEAU SOCIAL

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

The Strength of Weak Ties and Issues of Embeddedness: A Review of Granovetter's Theories on Social Network and organization/FORCES DE POINTS FAIBLES ET ISSUES D'ENFONCEMENT : UNE REVUE DE THEORIES DEGRANOVETTER SUR L'ANALYSE ET L'ORGANISATION DU RESEAU SOCIAL

Article excerpt

Abstract:

Based on the issues of the strength of weak ties and embeddedness, this paper haven taken a summary and review of Granovetter's theories on social network analysis and organization.

Key words: Granovetter, Weak ties, Embeddedness

Résumé: Basé sur les issues de forces de points faibles et d'enfoncement, ce document considéré comme un résumé et revue de théories de Granovetter sur l'analyse et l'organisation du réseau social.

Mots clés: Granovetter, points faibles , enfoncement

1. INTRODUCTION

Granovetter's 1973 paper "The Strength of Weak Ties" issued on American Journal of Sociology, is an important article on social network analysis. In this paper, Granovetter hypothesizes that weak ties can act as crucial bridge and elaborates four dimensions that measure the strength of ties. In his view, strong ties sustain relations within the group or organization, while weak ties can build bonding relations between groups or organizations and gain easily access to non-redundant information unavailable through interaction with strong ties. In other words, weak ties play a role of bridge in the process of information flows between different groups. The hypothesis of the strength of weak ties and such empirical findings has great influence on American and European researchers in social network analysis.

2. THE STRENGTH OF TIES AND THE EMBEDDEDNESS IDEA

Granovetter initially uses the concept of "the strength of ties" and makes the distinction between strong ties and weak ties. Furthermore, he proposes that the strength of ties can be measured by the following four dimensions: the amount of time, the emotional intensity, the intimacy (mutual confiding), and the reciprocal service. In his view, strong ties are related to higher frequency interaction, more emotional involving, more intimate, and wider reciprocal service, while weak ties are characterized by lower frequency interaction, less emotional involving, less intimate, and narrower reciprocal service.

Granovetter's emphasis on bridging weak ties is the nuclear of his hypothesis of "the strength of weak ties". He argued that weak ties are more likely to link members of different small groups than are strong ones, which tend to be concentrated within particular groups, and thus weak ties are more likely to move in circle different from our own and will have access to information different from that which we receive ( Granovetter, 1973, pl376 ). Furthermore, Granovetter's empirical study of recent job changers, he found that weak ties are an important resource in making possible mobility opportunity. Based on the empirical findings, Granovetter asserts that "though weak ties are certainly not automatically bridges. What is important, rather, is that all bridges are weak ties." (Granovetter, 1973, pl364).

Granovetter has developed the idea of "economic is embedded in the society" proposed by Karl Polani, and again concerns the embeddedness ideas by a critique of undersocialized and oversocialized accounts in his 1985 paper "Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness". He insists that economic action is closely embedded in networks of interpersonal relations, and argues that trust is very important in economic life, which results from social relations, rather than from institutional arrangements or generalized morality. In other words, he thinks that social networks generate trust and trust is embedded in social network and simultaneously economic action is embedded in the structure of trust of social network (Granovetter, 1985, p488).

In fact, Granovetter's concept of embeddedness implies that economic exchanges always take place between people who know each other but not completely strange to each other. In comparison with the hypothesis of weak ties, the concept of embeddedness emphasizes on trust rather than information. But trust should develop on basis of long-term contact or communication between transaction parties. …

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