Encyclopedia of Social Network Analysis and Mining

2014 Edition
| Editors: Reda Alhajj, Jon Rokne

Social Order in Online Social Networks

  • Tina Eliassi-Rad
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6170-8_287



A relationship between two individuals

Social Network

A set of individuals connected by a set of dyadic ties

Online Social Network

A social network on the World Wide Web


Social order, a technical term from social sciences (Frank 1944), is the study of how social creatures (such as human beings) are both individual and social (Hechter and Horne 2003). As Hechter and Horne (2003) point out, social order occurs when individuals coordinate and cooperate with each other.

Social order in online social networks and the coordination and cooperation that give rise to them appear in many different structural forms. Examples include homophily, communities (a.k.a. groups), weak ties, structural holes, and social capital.

Homophily The notion of homophily (i.e., “of like attracting like”) has been around since the ancient Greeks. It is often quoted that Plato said, “Similarity begets friendship.” Previous research (McPherson et al. 2001) has shown that homophily is a major...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Burt RS (2004) Structural holds and good ideas. Am J Sociol 110(2):349–399Google Scholar
  2. Dunbar R (1998) Grooming, Gossip, and the evolution of language. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  3. Easley D, Kleinberg J (2010) Networks, crowds, and markets. Cambridge University Press, New York, NYzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. Frank LK (1944) What is social order? Am J Sociol 49(5):470–477Google Scholar
  5. Granovetter M (2003) The strength of ties. In: Hechter M, Horne C (eds) Theories of social order: A reader. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, pp 323–332Google Scholar
  6. Hechter M, Horne C (2003) Theories of social order: A reader. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CAGoogle Scholar
  7. Leskovec J, Lang K, Dasgupta A, Mahoney M (2008) Statistical properties of community structure in large social and information networks. In: The 17th International Conference on World Wide Web, Beijing, China, pp 695–704Google Scholar
  8. Leskovec J, Lang KJ, Mahoney MW (2010) Empirical comparison of algorithms for network community detection. In: The 19th International Conference on World Wide Web, Raleigh, NC, pp 631–640Google Scholar
  9. McPherson M, Smith-Lovin L, Cook JM (2001) Birds of a feather: Homophily in social networks. Ann Rev Sociol 27:415–444Google Scholar
  10. Portes A (1998) Social capital: Its origins and applications in modern sociology. Ann Rev Sociol 24:1–24Google Scholar

Recommended Reading

  1. Blau P, Schwartz J (1997) Crosscutting social circles: Testing a macro-structural theory of intergroup relations. Transaction Publishers, Piscataway, NJGoogle Scholar
  2. Burt RS (2005) Brokerage and closure: An introduction to social capital. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  3. Gellner E (2003) Trust, cohesion, and the social order. In: Hechter M, Horne C (eds) Theories of social order: A reader. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, pp 300–305Google Scholar
  4. Henderon K, Eliassi-Rad T, Papadimitriou S, Faloutsos C (2010) HCDF: A hybrid community discovery framework. In: The 10th SIAM International Conference on Data Mining, Columbus, OH, pp 754–765Google Scholar
  5. Lazarsfeld P, Merton RK (1954) Friendship as a social process: A substantive and methodological analysis. In: Berger M, Abel T, Page CH (eds) Freedom and control in modern society, Van Nostrand, pp 18–66Google Scholar
  6. Newman MEJ (2006) Modularity and community structure in networks. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103: 8577–8582Google Scholar
  7. Simmel G (2003) The web of group-affiliations. In: Hechter M, Horne C (eds) Theories of social order: A reader. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, pp 316–322Google Scholar
  8. Watts D (2004) Six degrees: The science of a connected age. W.W. Norton & Company, New York, NYGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tina Eliassi-Rad
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceRutgers UniversityPiscatawayUSA