Opinion Dynamics in Gendered Social Networks: An Examination of Female Engagement Teams in Afghanistan
International forces in Afghanistan have experienced difficulties in developing constructive engagements with the Afghan population, an experience familiar to a wide range of international agencies working in underdeveloped and developing nations around the world. Recently, forces have begun deploying Female Engagement Teams, female military units who engage directly with women in occupied communities, resulting inmore positive relationships with those communities as a whole. In this paper, we explore the hypothesis that the structure of community-based social networks strongly contributes to the effectiveness of the Female Engagement Team strategy, specifically considering gender-based differences in network community structure. We find that the ability to address both female and male network components provides a superior ability to affect opinions in the network, and can provide an effective means of counteracting influences from opposition forces.
KeywordsSocial Network Opinion Dynamics Female Community Exponential Random Graph Model Opposition Force
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Biddle, S., Christia, F., Their, A.: Defining success in Afghanistan. Foreign Affairs 89, 48–51 (2010)Google Scholar
- 2.Peck, S.R.: PRTs: Improving or undermining the security for NGOs and PVOs in Afghanistan. DTIC Document (2004)Google Scholar
- 3.Pottinger, M., Jilani, H., Russo, C.: Half-Hearted: Trying to Win Afghanistan without Afghan Women. Small Wars Journal (2010)Google Scholar
- 4.Mehra, S.: Equal Opportunity Counterinsurgency: The Importance of Afghan Women in U.S. Counterinsurgency Operations (2010)Google Scholar
- 5.Wasserman, S., Faust, K.: Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1994)Google Scholar
- 7.Valente, T.W.: Social network influences on adolescent substance use: An introduction. Connections 25, 11–16 (2003)Google Scholar
- 8.Lampe, C., Ellison, N., Steinfield, C.: A Face (book) in the crowd: Social searching vs. social browsing. In: Proceedings of the 2006 20th Anniversary Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, pp. 167–170 (2006)Google Scholar
- 11.McPherson, M., Smith-Lovin, L., Cook, J.M.: Birds of a feather: Homophily in social networks. Annual Review of Sociology, 415–444 (2001)Google Scholar
- 12.Cartwright, D., Harary, F.: Structural Balance: A Generalization of Heider’s Theory. Psychological Review 63 (1956)Google Scholar
- 13.Belle, D.: Gender Differences in Childern’s Social Networks and Supports. Children’s social networks and social supports. John Wiley and Sons (1989)Google Scholar