Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Social Network Analysis and Mining

pp 1918-1920


Social Order in Online Social Networks

  • Tina Eliassi-RadAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, Rutgers University



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 criterion g ...

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