"The Network Community"
An Introduction to
Networks in the Global Village
Things Ain't Wot They Used To Be - And They Never Were!
Why does a debate about whether community exists persist, when the reality of community pervades our existence? Remember the timeless British music hall lament: "Things ain't wot they used to be"? Contemporary urbanites perversely flatter themselves by remarking how well they are coping with stressful modern times in contrast to the easy life their ancestors led. They look back to bygone, supposedly golden days when they are sure that their ancestors twenty, one hundred, three hundred years ago led charmed lives, basking in the warmth of true solidary community. I suspect that at all times, most people have feared that communities had fallen apart around them, with loneliness and alienation leading to a war of all against all.
A large part of contemporary unease comes from a selective perception of the present. Many people think they are witnessing loneliness when they observe people walking or driving by themselves. Mass media quickly and graphically circulate news about New York subway attacks and Parisian bombings. The public generalizes its fears: The attack could take place next door tomorrow, but disconnected strangers would never call the police just as they continue to disregard the sounding of strangers car-theft alarms.
Paradoxically, few people will confess that they, themselves, are currently living lives of lonely desperation. They know that they have supportive communities, and they are aware that most of their friends, neighbors, kin and workmates also are members of supportive communities. Yet even with these realizations, the same people believe that they are the exceptions, and that the masses around them are lonely and isolated.
At the same time, there is nostalgia for the perfect pastoral past that never was (see the critique in Laslett 1965). This dims awareness of the powerful stresses and cleavages that have always pervaded human society. The inhabitants of almost all contemporary societies have less to worry about than their predecessors with respect to the basics of human life. Without being Pollyannaish, the data show that people now are generally eating better, better housed and clothed, suffering less personal and property crime, living longer, and having their loved ones live longer. In their concern about current problems, people often forget about the ones that are no more. AIDS does not rival the Black Death; automobile pollution may cause less illness than streets littered with horse manure. Yet people are often without history; they forget that crime and political violence rates are lower now than they were one and two centuries ago (Gurr 1981; Monkkonen 1995).
Community has never been lost. Yet since the Industrial Revolution, most people have believed that large-scale technological and social changes had destroyed community in the developed world and were well on their way to killing it in developing countries. Policymakers and pundits echoed and reinforced this belief, and until a generation ago, most social scientists agreed with them.
Wherever they have looked, researchers have found thriving communities. This is so well documented that there is no longer any scholarly need to demonstrate that community ties exist everywhere, although the alarmed public, politicians and pundits need to be constantly reassured and re-educated. But there is a pressing need to understand what kinds of community flourish, what communities do and do not do for people, and how communities operate in different social systems.
The Community Question
The basic question about the nature of community which I call The Community Question is how large-scale divisions of labor affect and are affected by smaller-scale community of kith and kin? Thus the Community Question inherently has two parts depending on which causal direction you look:
Thus, the Community Question stands at a crucial nexus between societal and interpersonal social systems. It juxtaposes the problem of the structural integration of a social system and the interpersonal means by which the members of this social system have access to scarce resources. The social capital vested in ties provide interpersonal resources for people to use to deal with daily life, seize opportunities and reduce uncertainties. (Kadushin 1981; Bourdieu 1984; Coleman 1990; Wellman and Wortley 1990; Flap 1995; Putnam 1995; Burt 1997; Lin 1997; Ruan, et al. 1997; Schweizer, Schnegg and Berzborn 1998).
Looking For Community
It is likely that pundits have worried about the impact of social change on community ever since people ventured beyond their caves. The Community Question clearly preoccupied biblical prophets from the 11th century BCE onward (see Samuel 8), concerned then (as now) that the establishment of an Israeli state would lead to communal disintegration (Leach 1966; Buccellati 1967; Zeidman 1985). As the prophet Jeremiah warned the rapidly-modernizing Israelites in the 6th century BCE in "all their wickedness" (1:16):
Take ye heed every one of his neighbor, and on any brother place ye no reliance; for every brother will surely supplant, and every neighbor will go about as a talebearer (8:3).1
Two thousand years later, the Community Question continued to be a major issue to Renaissance intellectuals. Their concerns ranged from Machiavelli's (1532) celebration of the liberation of communal patterns to Hobbes' (1651) fears that the absence of social structures would result in the interpersonal war of all against all. A bit later, the Community Question was a key preoccupation of such 18th century British philosophers as John Locke and David Hume (see also Wills 1978) as they sought to deduce the social basis of larger-scale societies from their understanding of primordial communal relations. Their student, Thomas Jefferson, gave the question an anti-urban cast -- communal bonds are not viable in industrial, commercial cities -- when he asserted:
The mobs of great cities add just so much to the support of pure government, as sores do to the strength of the human body (1784, p. 86).
In the two centuries since then, many commentators have wrestled to understand the ways in which large-scale social changes associated with the Industrial Revolution may have affected the composition, structure and operations of communities. Their analyses have reflected the ambivalence with which nineteenth-century pundits faced the impacts of industrialization, bureaucratization, capitalism, imperialism and technological developments on interpersonal relations. Where religion, locality and kinship group had some integrative claims on interpersonal relations, the shift to mobile, market societies now had the potential to disconnect individuals from the strengths and constraints of traditional societies (Marx 1964; Smith 1979; White and White 1962; Williams 1973).
On the one hand, analysts feared the negative consequences of the large-scale changes. The keynote was set by Ferdinand Tönnies (1887) who claimed there were fundamental differences between the communally-organized societies of yesteryear (which he called gemeinschaft) and the contractually-organized societies (gesellschaft) associated with the coming of the Industrial Revolution. Tönnies asserted that communally-organized societies, supposedly characteristic of rural areas and underdeveloped societies, would have densely-interconnected social relationships composed principally of neighbors and kin. By contrast, he asserted that contractually-organized societies, supposedly characteristic of industrial cities, would have more sparsely-knit relationships composed principally of ties between friends and acquaintances, rather than relatives or neighbors. He believed that the lack of cohesion in such gesellschaft societies was leading to specialized, contractual exchanges replacing communally-enforced norms of mutual support.
This was not only an isolated, nostalgic lament for the supposed loss of the mythical pastoral past where happy villagers knew their place. Many commentators shared Tönnies fears about the supposed contemporary loss of community although they offered different reasons for why it was happening, such as industrialization, urbanization, bureaucratization, capitalism, socialism or technological change. Thus the loss of community was a centerpiece of Karl Marxs (1852) and Friedrich Engels' (1885) communist analyses, asserting that industrial capitalism had created new types of interpersonal exploitation that drove people apart. Capitalism had alienated workers not only from their work but from each other. By contrast, although sociologist Max Weber (1946, 1958) extolled modern rationality, he also feared that bureaucratization and urbanization were weakening communal bonds and traditional authority. Sociologist Émile Durkheim (1897) feared that the loss of solidarity had weakened communal support and fostered social pathology. A generation later, sociologist Georg Simmel celebrated urban liberation but also worried that the new individualism would lead to superficial relationships (1922).
On the other hand, many of the same commentators noted that the large-scale reorganization of production had created new opportunities for community relations. Thus Marx acknowledged that industrialization had reduced poverty and Engels realized that working-class home ownership would heighten local communal bonds. Weber argued that bureaucracy and urbanization would liberate many from the traditional, stultifying bases of community, and Durkheim (1893) argued that the new complex divisions of labor were binding people together in networks of interdependent "organic solidarity". In the same article that he worried about the consequences of urban liberation, Simmel argued that in the new cites, individuals were no longer totally enmeshed in one social circle. Therefore, they would have greater personal freedom as they maneuvered through their partial social attachments.
Tönnies vision was part of a particularly European debate about the transformation of societies aristocrats, intellectuals and parvenus coming to terms with the transformation of once-ordered, hierarchal societies of peasants and landowners, workers and merchants. Despite different social conditions, social scientists in the new North American world adapted Tönnies concerns, debating whether modern times have occasioned the loss of community in developed Western societies (e.g., Berger 1960; Gans 1962; Gans 1967; Grant 1969; Nisbet 1962; Parsons 1943; Slater 1970; Stein 1960). Robert Redfields (1947) folk-urban continuum was especially influential, asserting that the possibilities for community varied linearly between highly-communal rural villages through towns to cities lacking community.
In confronting their own society, many Americans decried the loss of solidary communities of family, kin and neighbors, bound by custom and tradition. Their analyses reflected the continuing American tension between individualism and communalism originally put forward by the influential historian, Frederick Jackson Turner. Focusing on the populaces march westward to settle the supposedly-empty frontier, Turner argued (1893) that constant movement left little room for community to develop. He argued that what little there was of community in the West consisted of transient groups of settlers helping each other, with instrumental aid overshadowing emotional support, companionship, or a sense of communal belonging. Even the cities were filled with migrants: floating proletarians who were constantly on the move, seeking work that would push them up the ladder (Thernstrom 1964, 1973 Chudacoff 1972; Katz, Doucet, and Stern 1982). The successful rural settlers and urban migrants embodied the Turnerian spirit of individualism and practicality. They had avoided being trapped in traditional community bonds (Starr 1985, 1990).2
What Could Have Caused Changes in Community?
Contemporary analysts have debated the causes of changes in community almost as much as they have debated whether community has, in fact, changed and what the nature of these changes might be. This is because the strong association between the appearance of industrialization, bureaucratization, urbanization, capitalism, socialism and new transportation and communication technologies has made it difficult to tease out the ultimate cause, if any (see the discussion in Abu-Lughod 1991). Various analysts have pointed to:
Ambivalence about the consequences of large-scale changes has continued through the twentieth century, with scholars and pundits asking if things have, in fact, fallen apart. Unfortunately, the fundamental concerns of the Community Question have become confounded in many analyses with narrower issues:
Concerns about the persistence of community are frequently projected onto the future in Manichean debates about whether community will die or flourish in cyberspace as Wellman and Gulias chapter documents. Science-fiction novels have echoed fears of the loss of community, providing scenarios ranging from alienation in densely-packed (Ballard 1975), hyper-capitalistic (Brunner 1968) mass societies, to post-atomic holocaust returns to tribal solidarities (Atwood 1985; Lessing 1974). However, a more optimistic genre has foretold wired people in wired cities moving easily between interest groups (Brunner 1975; Delaney 1976; Gibson 1986; Stephenson 1992). Similar to the novels, the predominant depiction of the future in films has been of small, scattered and impoverished tribal bands trying to survive in a desolate land filled with marauders, a genre popularized in contemporary times by George Millers (and Mel Gibsons) Mad Max (1979) and The Road Warrior (1981) and by James Camerons (and Arnold Schwarzeneggers) The Terminator (1984). An alternative futuristic vision has been equally as bleak, in a cinematic fashion set by Ridley Scotts (and Harrison Fords) Blade Runner (1982): the squalid, overpopulated, East Asian-influenced landscape of alienated urban masses in a society visually dominated by huge organizations and their equally huge neon advertisements.
With the growth of the Internet and the World-Wide Web, what had once been science-fiction has become a staple for apocalyptic speculation, although with much less analysis. As Wellman and Gulias "Net Surfers" chapter recounts, those on either side of this debate assert that the Internet either will create wonderful new forms of community or will destroy community altogether. This latter side of the debate is Tönnies nouveau, warning that meaningful contact will wither without the full bandwidth provided by in-person, in-the flesh contact. This debate has been unscholarly, presentist and parochial. Consistent with the present-oriented ethos of computer users, pundits write as if people and scholars had never worried about community before the Internet arose. Too many analysts treat the Internet as an isolated phenomenon without taking into account how online interactions fit with other aspects of peoples lives.
Rediscovering Traditional Community with Flowers in Its Hair
Given its importance to human kind and accessibility to public discourse, it is a safe guess that the Community Question in some form will remain open to the end of time. Yet since World II important transformations have taken place in scholarly approaches to the question:
One intellectual generation ago the watchwords of community sociologists were documentation and description. The profession was preoccupied with proving that community persisted dare they say "flourished"? Scholars of the First (Western, developed, non-socialist) world wanted to show that supportive communal bonds remained even in allegedly pernicious habitats: inner-city slums (Gans 1962; Liebow 1967; Whyte 1943; Young and Willmott 1957) and middle-class suburbs (Bell 1968; Clark 1966; Gans 1967). Scholars of the Third ("underdeveloped") world battled fears that the migrants flooding into industrializing cities would form communally-disconnected, politically-dangerous hordes.4 Although the argument that capitalism had shaped urban communities called for comparative approaches (e.g., Castells 1972; see also Fischer 1978), few scholars tackled the Community Question in the Second (socialist) world of Eastern Europe and China. To have done so, would have been contradictory to the anti-Tocquevillean (1835) communist ethos that saw each person relating individually to the state, without intermediary structures. Hence community network studies (such as Sik and Wellmans chapter in this book) have only developed in post-communist times.5
With hindsight, postwar fears about the "loss of community" came in part from the same sources as some Americans fearing evil creatures from outer space and U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy's searching for Reds under the bed. The fearful saw alien forces believed that the Frankensteinian "machine in the garden" (Marx 1964) had run amok and destroyed traditional communities. Beneath the jingoistic celebration of small-town virtues lurked the fear that people were inherently evil: ready to rob, rape, pillage and turn atheistically communist when communal bonds were loosened.
By the 1960s, urban scholars were using ethnographic and survey techniques to show that community had survived the major transformations of the Industrial Revolution. Both fieldwork and survey research showed that neighborhood and kinship relations continue to be abundant and strong. Large institutions have neither smashed nor withered communal relations. To the contrary: the larger and more inflexible the institutions, the more people seem to depend on their informal ties to deal with them. For example, Bians and Sik and Wellmans chapters in this book report that both people and organizations relied on informal ties to obtain resources in communist China and Hungary (see also Lin 1997; Lin, Ye and Chen 1997). To go through channels would have been to wait forever. Sik and Wellman also show that another aspect of informal ties, their reliability, is important in hyper-flexible, cash-poor, post-communist Hungary. It is often the only way to get jobs, money or favors.
The developing body of research has shown that communities while may have changed in response to the pressures, opportunities and constraints of large-scale forces, they have not withered away. They buffer households against large-scale forces, provide mutual aid, and serve as secure bases to engage with the outside world (see reviews in Choldin 1985; Fischer 1976; Gordon 1978; Keller 1968; Smith 1979; Warren 1978). They provide Kirkian emotional aid, Spockian information, McCoyesque companionship, and Scottynian instrumental aid: the four archetypes of the original Star Trek television show (Whitfield and Roddenberry 1970). For example, Espinozas chapter shows that informal community ties are the keys to daily survival in the impoverished barrios of Santiago, Chile. They provide food, shelter, short-term loans, job leads, and help in dealing with organizations. In this situation, neighbors (who are often kin) provide most everyday support. Yet such neighbors are poor themselves. To get sizable amounts of money or access to good jobs, the residents must rely on their weaker ties to wealthier, better-situated relatives who live outside the barrios. The situation fits well with Granovetters (1973) and Wellman and Leightons argument that weak, ramifying ties are well-suited for obtaining access to new resources while strong, solidary ties are well-suited for mobilizing and conserving existing resources.
This scholarly rediscovery of community resonated strongly with the political developments of the 1960s. The civil rights movement encouraged more positive evaluations of urban black neighborhoods (e.g., Stack 1974) and, by extension, of lumpenproletariat life everywhere. The neo-Rousseauian student movement preached the inherent goodness of human kind. Students and anthropologists boarded new low-cost charter flights to spend $5 a day discovering that Europe and the Third World were full of enjoyable people in interesting villages and cities. Planners turned away from urban renewal toward the preservation of dense, noisy downtown neighborhoods (as expressed most vividly in Jane Jacobs' 1961 anthem). Instead of bulldozing neighborhoods to encourage suburban growth and metropolitan expressways, planners and politicians started banning large-scale inner-city housing projects and terminating expressways outside city cores. Renovation and gentrification became the buzzwords of the 1970s. There were hard-won battles, fought with demonstrations, sit-ins, court decrees, elections and scholarly articles. Despite much migration to the suburbs, the centers of such cities as Boston, New York, San Francisco and Toronto remained well-populated.
This transformation in thinking became the academic orthodoxy of the late 1960s and the 1970s. Scholars, planners and some politicians and members of the public no longer thought of cities as evil, permeated with Original Sin. Their Jacobsean cum Rousseauesque celebrations of community had the lingering aroma of the 1960s, seeing urbanites as permeated with Original Good and happily maintaining mutually supportive ties. The rest of the populace was slower to catch on: many policymakers, the media and the public at large continued to fear the urban, yearn for the pastoral, and settle for suburbia.
How Green Were the Valleys?
In saying that communities are not as local as they used to be, analysts must avoid committing the pastoralist fallacy of thinking that contemporary cities and suburbs are inferior to the villages or pestilent cities of yesteryear, with their pestilence, crime and insecurity. At the same time that sociologists were discovering the existence of contemporary communities, historical analysts started using similar research methods to study preindustrial villages, towns and cities. Until their work became known, analysts had contrasted the disorderly urban present with the pastoral ideal of bucolic, solidary villages (Poggioli 1975). They assumed that such communities were socially cohesive and stable, with little movement in or out. Yet the supposed communalism of the preindustrial world has turned out to be an artifact of how earlier commentators thought about it. Pre-industrial communities may never have been as locally-bounded as tradition has maintained. Whenever scholars have looked for non-local ties, they have found far-ranging networks. For example, radioactive analyses of obsidian have found Neolithic spear points and choppers more than one thousand miles from their origin (Dixon Cann and Renfrew 1968). By looking for community in localities and not in networks, analysts had focused on local phenomena and stability rather than on long distances and mobility. For example, Emmanuel LeRoy Ladurie's (1975) rich account of medieval village life in southern France reveals a good deal of geographical mobility as early as the 1300s. To trace networks of Albigensian heretics, Catholic investigators asked all residents of the village of Montaillou to report who their friends were, who had influence, and how they spent their days. They used this information to build up detailed accounts of the village community. These accounts reveal that many villagers travelled widely. Some were shepherds following their flocks over the Pyrenees, some were itinerant soldiers, while others travelled south to the Spanish coast or west along the Mediterranean to northern Italy. The people of Montaillou had frequent contact with other villages, and passing travellers often gave them news of the outside world. With such contact came new ideas, intermarriage, and new alliances.
Montaillou was not a solidary village. Various factions competed within it for wealth and status. Each faction used their ties outside the village to enhance their local standing, and each used their local support to build external alliances. As with preindustrial villages everywhere, their local life was very much a part of the larger world (see also Davis 1975, 1983; Hufton 1974; Tilly 1964; see also Espinozas and Sik and Wellmans chapters). Nor was Montaillou an unusual place. Consider the protagonist of the Return of Martin Guerre (Carričre 1982; Davis 1983): a soldier returning to his French village with knowledge and a new identity gained from wars in distant parts of Europe. The wanderings continue during the Renaissance and the Reformation: For example, Le Roy Laduries The Beggar and the Professor (1997) is a biography of three generations of the 16th-century Swiss family Platter. The men in all three generations took long journeys around Europe, ranging from Poland to Bohemia, from southern Spain to Paris to northern Germany. They and the other Swiss described in this remarkable book combined their social and spatial mobility with far-flung, fluid community networks. They used their networks to settle into distant universities, to obtain knowledge, and to find jobs and spouses.
In the past three decades, social scientists have analyzed the local histories of both preindustrial and newly-industrializing communities in Europe and North America. They have concentrated on the period between 1600 and 1900 when emerging national governments began to keep more careful records. By using such sources as parish registers and early censuses, historical demographers have enumerated the gender, marital status and occupations of all persons living in a household. Record linkage techniques help trace the social and spatial movement of persons and households (Laslett 1965, 1972; Anderson 1971; Aminzade and Hodson 1982; Thernstrom 1969; Katz 1975; Darroch and Ornstein 1983; Wellman and Wetherell 1996).
These studies suggest that the average preindustrial household was quite small, For example, at the turn of the 19th century, the typical adult inhabitant of the Latvian village of Pinkenhof had only three kin and five friends/neighbors/coworkers in their personal communities (Wetherell, Plakans and Wellman 1994). Contrary to contemporary pastoralist myth of immutable villages, many families were socially and spatially mobile. They often worked in the city when they were young adults, but retained ties with their rural villages. Artisans and soldiers were frequently on the road. Women married and moved, geographically and socially. Servants' ties to their distant families concurrently linked their masters' families to the servants' rural homes. And, as all readers of Jane Austen know, these complex connections linked far-flung networks of community ties. For example, in Sense and Sensibility (1811), the Misses Dashwood made long journeys between their original Sussex home, their new Devonshire house, and the London social milieu. Even while residing at "Barton Cottage," Devonshire, they and their network members were forever jaunting long distances to visit each other, apparently oblivious to the many other homes that they rode past. They maintained far-flung kinship and friendship networks throughout southern and central England while seemingly not being connected to most of their neighbors.
Neighbourhood or Community?
Despite these cautionary tales from the past, the fundamentally structural Community Question has often been a search for local solidarity rather than a search for supportive ties, wherever located and however solidary. As a result of the continuing sociological and public fixation on communities as solidary neighborhoods, community studies have usually been neighborhood studies, be they the "symbiotic" communities of Robert Parks treatises (1925) or the empirical studies of street life by Whyte (1943), Liebow (1967) and Anderson (1990). Definitions of community have usually included three ingredients:
a. Interpersonal networks that provide sociability, social support and social capital to their members;
b. Residence in a common locality, such as a village or neighborhood;
c. Solidary sentiments and activities (see Hillery 1955).
It is principally the emphasis on common locality, and to a lesser extent the emphasis on solidarity, that has encouraged the identification of "community" with "neighborhood". There are several reasons why the concept of "neighborhood" has been almost synonymous with the concept of "community":
This concentration on the neighborhood has had a strong impact on definitions of, research into, and theorizing about community. Neighborhood studies have produced many finely wrought depictions of urban life, and they have given us powerful ideas about how interpersonal relations operate in a variety of social contexts (see review in Fischer 1976). Analyses have taken mappings of local area boundaries as their staring points and then looked into the extent of communal interaction and sentiment within these boundaries. They have thus assumed, a priori, that a significant portion of a persons interpersonal ties are organized by locality. Such a territorial perspective, searching for answers to the Community Question only within bounded population aggregates, has been especially sensitive to the evaluation of community solidarity in terms of shared values and social integration. Consequently, when observers cannot find much solidary local behavior and sentiments, they have too-often concluded that "community" has disappeared.
But does the concept of "neighborhood" equal the concept of "community"? Are the two terms synonymous? The contemporary milieu of frequent residential mobility, spatially-dispersed relationships and activities, and the movement of interactions from public spaces to private homes have all limited the amount of observable interactions in neighborhoods. This does not mean that community has been lost but that it is much less likely now to be locally based and locally observed.
The paramount concerns of sociologists are social structures and social processes and not spatial groupings. Concerns about the spatial location of social structures and processes must necessarily occupy secondary positions. To sociologists, unlike geographers, spatial distributions are not inherently important variables. They assume importance only as they affect such social structural questions as the formation, composition and structure of interpersonal networks; the flow of resources through such networks; and the interplay of such community networks with the division of labor and the organization of power within larger-scale social systems.
The Network Analytic Approach to Studying Community
The authors in this book examine the Community Question from a network analytic perspective. Social network analysis provides a useful way to study community without presuming that it is confined to a local area. The essence of social network analysis is its focus on social relations and social structures - wherever they may be located and whoever they may be with. Social network analysis does not assume that the world is always composed of normatively-guided individuals aggregated into bounded groups or areas. Rather, it starts with a set of network members (sometimes called nodes) and a set of ties that connect some or all nodes (Wasserman and Faust 1993).7 Social network analysis conceives of social structure as the patterned organization of these network members and their relationships (Wellman 1988b). The utility of the network approach is that it does not take as its starting point putative neighborhood solidarities nor does it seek primarily to find and explain the persistence (or absence) of solidary sentiments. Thus the network approach attempts to avoid individual-level research perspectives, with their inherently social psychological explanatory bases that see internalized attitudes as determining community relations.
The social network approach provides ways for analysts to think about social relationships that are neither groups nor isolated duets. Instead of the either/or distinction between group membership and social isolation characteristic of those fearing the alleged loss of community, network analysts can study a more diversified set of structural phenomena, such as:
Although all studies have to start somewhere with some populations, most social network analyses do not treat officially-defined group or neighborhood boundaries as truly social boundaries, be they departments in organizations or neighborhoods in cities. Instead they trace the social relationships of the persons they are studying, wherever these relationships go and whomever they are with. Only then do network analysts look to see if such relationships cross officially defined boundaries. In this way, formal boundaries become important analytic variables rather than a priori analytic constraints.
The network approach allows analysts to go looking for social relationships that transcend groups or localities. A group is only a special type of social network, one that is densely-knit (most people are directly connected) and tightly-bounded (most relations stay within the same set of people). To be sure, there are densely-knit and tightly-bounded work groups and community groups. Yet there are other kinds of work and community networks whose relationships are sparsely-knit with only a minority of members of the workplace or community directly connected with each other. These relationships usually ramify out in many directions like an expanding spider's web rather than curling back on themselves into a densely-knit tangle.
For example, people who hang out together at a French cafe, Canadian hockey rink, New York street corner, or Chilean barrio can be studied as either a group or a social network. Those who study them as groups assume that they know the membership and boundaries of the groups. They might ask how important each group is to its members, how the groups are governed and make decisions, how the groups control members, and the circumstances under which members enter and leave. By contrast, those who study such entities as social networks can treat membership and boundaries as open questions. Frequent participation in a friendship circle might be treated as the basis for membership but so might be the indirect connections (and resource flows) that friends provide to others outside the circle. The pattern of relationships becomes a research question rather than a given.
Once analysts adopt this perspective, then communities, organizations and world-systems are clearly social networks, and that many communities, organizations and political systems are not dense, bounded groups. Although what network analysts have often done is sheer documentation demonstrating the existence of networks much of their work has been more than mere documentation. It has shown social scientists ways to shift away from thinking of social structure as nested in little boxes and away from seeing relationships as the product of internalized norms.
The social network approach does not preclude finding that communities are urban villages where everyone knows each other and provides the abundant, broadly-based support, that Tönnies thought only to be a nostalgic relic of vanishing villages. Nor does it preclude finding that organizations really function as Weberian hierarchical bureaucracies. But the social network approach allows the discovery of other forms of community perhaps sparsely-knit and spatially-dispersed and other forms of organization perhaps loosely-coupled or virtual.
Social Networks of Community
Social network analysis has freed the community question from its traditional preoccupation with solidarity and neighborhood.8 It provides a new way to study community that is based on the community relationships that people actually have rather than on the places where they live or the solidary sentiments they have. It offers three advantages:
By using the social network approach, analysts discovered that community had not disappeared. Instead, community had moved out of its traditional neighborhood base as the constraints of space weakened. Except in situations of ethnic or racial segregation (e.g., Lee and Campbells chapter), contemporary Western communities are rarely tightly-bounded, densely-knit groups of broadly-based ties. They are usually loosely-bounded, sparsely-knit, ramifying networks of specialized ties. Therefore, analysts should be able to find community wherever it exists: in neighborhoods, in family solidarities, or in networks that reach farther out and include many friends and acquaintances (Oliver 1988; Wellman 1979; Wellman and Leighton 1979; Fischer 1982).
Community Networks as Personal Communities
There are two ways to look at community networks (or at any social networks, for that matter): as whole networks or as personal communities. Many analysts view social networks much as aliens might view the earths people: as outside observers hovering above, observing the relationships linking all members of the population. This aliens-eye (or Copernican) view of an entire social system is the study of whole networks, describing the comprehensive structure of role relationships in a complete population. Analysts can have simultaneous views of the social system as a whole and of the parts that make up the system. Through manipulating matrices, they can find patterns of connectivity and cleavage within social systems, structurally equivalent role relationships among social system members, changes in network structures over time, and the ways in which system members are directly and indirectly connected. For example, analysts can trace horizontal and vertical flows of resources and detect structural constraints operating on flows of resources. They can find densely-knit clusters, structural holes (Burt 1992), areas of high interaction or social isolation (Scott 1991; Wasserman and Faust 1993).
Yet whole network studies are not always feasible or analytically appropriate. Those who use them must define the boundaries of a population, compile a list of all the members of this population, and collect a list of all the relationships (of the sort the analyst is interested in) among the members of this population. Therefore, whole network analysis is most appropriate for studying defined, bounded units such as organizations, nation-states or clearly-bounded neighborhoods. However, such an intrinsic assumption of clearly-bounded population is precisely the approach that led many investigators before the 1970s to pronounce community as dead because they had looked for it only in bounded neighborhoods.
Therefore many community network analysts including the authors in this book have concentrated on studying smaller personal (or ego-centered) networks defined from the standpoint of focal persons: a sample of individuals at the centers of their own networks. Rather than showing the universe as it is viewed by an outside observer, personal network studies provide Ptolemaic views of networks as they may be viewed by the individuals at their centers: the world we each see revolving around us. Figure 1, for example, shows the significant interpersonal ties of a typical North American.9 She is directly tied with each network member (by definition), and many network members are also significantly tied with each other. (For the sake of clarity, Figure 1 omits the direct ties between the focal person and her network members.) She has a densely-knit cluster of kin three of whom are her socially-close intimates and more sparsely-knit relations among a half-dozen friends and neighbors. One workmate stands apart, his isolation reflecting a separation of work and social life in this focal persons life.
Personal network studies enable researchers to study community ties, whoever with, wherever located, and however structured. They focus on the inherently social nature of community and avoid the trap of looking for community only in spatially-defined areas. These personal community studies have meshed well with mainstream survey research techniques. Researchers have typically interviewed an (often large) sample of focal persons, asking about the composition, relational patters, and contents of "their" networks. To measure network density, they typically ask the focal persons in their samples to report about relationships among the members of their networks. Such studies, began in Detroit (Laumann 1969a; Laumann 1969b; Laumann 1973) and Toronto (Casey 1995; Coates 1966; Coates and Wellman 1969; Craven and Wellman 1973; Wellman 1968) in the 1960s and have flourished ever since. Reflecting the substantial amount of funding available for studying health, many psychologists, sociologists and social workers have concentrated on studying the social support that community networks provide: the supportive resources that community ties convey and their consequences for mental and physical well-being and longevity (see reviews in Fischer 1984; Wellman 1990a; Wellman 1992c; Wellman 1993). For example, researchers have found that people with larger, more diversified personal communities were less susceptible to common colds and produced less mucus (Cohen et al., 1997).
By framing analyses in network analytic terms, researchers have been able to show that the fears of a former generation about the loss of community were incorrect. Community, network analysts argue, has rarely disappeared from societies. It has been transformed. Community network analyses including those represented in this book have shown the continuing abundance and vitality of interpersonal relationships even as they have been affected by capitalism, socialism, urbanization, industrialization, bureaucratization, and new transportation and communication technology. New forms of community have come into being to replace older ones. The demonstration of the pervasiveness and importance of personal communities has rebutted contentions that large-scale social transformations have produced widespread social isolation in an alienated "mass society" (e.g., Kornhauser 1959). If analysts focus on social ties and systems of informal resource exchange than on people living in neighborhoods and villages, community can be seen. The discovery that most community ties extend well beyond the neighborhood and the village has redressed the common tendency to identify communities with neighborhoods. In the Western world and perhaps elsewhere, most community ties stretch across a metropolitan region, with many extending across the nation or to another continent.
Conceputalizing a persons community life as the central node linking together complex interpersonal relationships leads to quite different analytic concerns from conceptualizing it as a membership in a discrete solidarity. The transmutation of "community" into "personal community" is more than a linguistic trick. It frees analysts from searching for Brigadoons: vestigial traditional solidarities hanging on into the 20th century. Treating communities as social networks makes such solidarities only one possible pattern among many. Rather than looking to see if what they find measures up to the traditional ideal of densely-knit, tightly-bounded, broadly-based solidarities, analysts can evaluate the ways in which different kinds of social structural patterns affect flows of resources to community members.
This shift in perspective from neighborhood community to community network allows analysts to examine the extent to which large-scale social changes have created new forms of association and altered traditional kinship and neighboring structures. It leaves open the extent to which community ties are intimate, frequent or broadly based. It facilitates the linkage of community networks with analyses of other social systems: in the household, at work, with voluntary organizations, or with bureaucratic institutions.
The definition of "the community" in community network studies is a matter of how investigators define ties, where they draw boundaries, and how high they raise the level of analytic magnification to take into account internal links within clusters.
- a few close confidants (Laumann1973; Fischer, et al., 1977; Burt 1984, 1986; Marsden 1987);
- a handful of socially-close intimates (e.g., the chapters by Lee and Campbell; Ohtani; Ferrand, Mounier and Degenne);
- Or, at most, a score or so of active ties (e.g., the chapters by Espinoza; Wellman and Potter; Wellman and Gulia [social support]).
Moreover, researchers have to start somewhere. In community network studies, they typically select a random sample from a neighborhood or metropolitan area, even though they trace the residents network relationships to wherever they may be found.
Thinking of communities as personal communities does have its costs.
The Nature of Community Networks
The authors in this book - along with other scholars - have already discovered much about the composition, structure, dynamics and operation of community networks. As an introduction to the chapters in this book, this section reviews what we now know.
1. Community Ties are Narrow, Specialized Relationships, not Broadly Supportive.
Both scholars and the public have traditionally thought of communities as composed of broadly-based relationships in which each community member felt securely able to obtain a variety of help. Yet a good deal of research (including the chapters by Ohtani; Bian; Ferrand, Mounier and Degenne; Wellman and Gulia [support]; Espinoza; Lee and Campbell) has shown that most community ties are specialized, with community network members usually supplying only a few kinds of social support (see also the reviews in Wellman 1988, 1992c). In France, kin and neighbors engage in mutual aid, but friends and neighbors are the confidants (Ferrand, Mounier and Degenne). In California, there are differences between trouble-shooting kin and companionable friends (Fischer 1982; Schweizer, Schnegg and Berzborn 1997). In Toronto, active community members usually supply only one or two out of the five types of social support, for example, small services and emotional aid but not large services, companionship or financial aid (Hall and Wellman 1985; Wellman and Wortley 1988; Wellman and Wortley 1990). (By contrast, Toronto spouses supply each other with all types of social support [Wellman and Wellman 1992]). Those network members who provide small services or emotional aid rarely provide large services, companionship or financial aid (Wellman, Carrington and Hall 1988; Wellman and Wortley 1989; Wellman and Wortley 1990). Parents and adult children provide the widest range of support although they rarely supply sociable companionship. Accessible ties people living or working near-by, or otherwise in frequent in-person or telecommunications contact provide important goods and services (Wellman and Wortley 1990). The strength of ties is important, with socially-close voluntary and multiple-role ties providing high levels of support. Yet Granovetter (1973, 1982) has cogently argued the importance of weak ties for linking sparsely-knit communities and providing people with a wider range of information.
The specialized provision of support in communities means that people must maintain differentiated portfolios of ties to obtain a variety of resources. They can no longer assume that any or all of their relationships will help them, no matter what is the problem. In market terms, people must shop at specialized boutiques for needed resources instead of casually dropping in at a general store. Like boutique shoppers, people who only have a few network members supplying one kind of support have insecure sources of supply. If the relationship ends if the boutique closes the supply of that particular type of support may disappear.
2. People are Not Wrapped Up in Traditional Densely-Knit, Tightly-Bounded Communities But are Manuevering in Sparsely-Knit, Loosely-Bounded, Frequently-Changing Networks.
As we have seen, the traditional view has been that communities are densely-knit solidarities with tight boundaries. In such a situation, almost all community members would interact with each other and almost all informal interaction would take place within the community. Dense knit and tight boundaries make it easy for communities to control their members and coordinate their behavior, whether this be supplying aid to those in distress or punishing those who transgress (see Lee and Campbells and Espinozas chapters).
In reality, personal communities are usually sparsely knit and loosely bounded. For example, the density of 0.33 we found in two Toronto studies means that only one-third of a person's active community members have active ties with each other. Moreover, these networks become even more sparsely-knit as people age and their networks get more complex: Mean network density declined from 0.33 to 0.13 over a decade (Wellman Wong Tindall, et al. 1997). As Wellman and Potter and Wellman and Gulia (support) show in this book, variation in the composition and structure of these community networks is more complex than the traditional Tönniesian dichotomy of communal versus contractual organization.
The complex and specialized nature of personal communities means that these are fragmented networks. People must actively maintain each supportive relationship rather than relying on solidary communities to do their maintenance work. In both Japan (Ohtanis chapter, Nozawa 1997) and North America (Wellman and Gulias support chapter; Wellman 1979; Wellman and Wortley 1989, 1990; Fischer 1982), the kinship system as such does not supply much social support: Extended kin are rarely supportive, although a few immediate kin parents, children and siblings are quite supportive. Moreover, the tendency of computer-mediated communication to emphasize relationships based on shared interests rather than relationships based on kinship or neighborhood may mean that most on-line ties will also be specialized, based on a single shared interest, and transitory, as interests change (Wellman and Gulias surfers chapter).
The fragmentation, specialization and low density suggests that the nature of individual relationships may be more important than the nature of the networks for the provision of social support. This means that to receive support people must actively maintain each relationship rather than rely on solidary communities to do this for them. It also means that tie characteristics may have more effect than network characteristics on the provision of social support. Although tie characteristics are important (Wellman 1992c), Wellman and Gulias support chapter shows that the characteristics of community networks are also important. Larger, more heterogeneous and denser networks provide more support. A network is more than the sum of its ties: The composition and structure of community networks affect the provision of support beyond the effects of the characteristics of the specific ties in these networks. Emergent properties are alive and well and living in Toronto.
Few people have stable community networks. Our group has found that only 28% of Torontonians intimate ties were still intimate a decade later. Thirty-six percent of the once-intimate ties became less active over the decade, while the rest became very weak or disappeared. Although kinship ties are more stable, only 34% of intimate kinship ties remained intimate a decade later while another 28% continued as active, but not intimate, relationships (Wellman, et al. 1997).
It is not that people's communities are disintegrating, but that they are in flux. Rather than locking people into one tightly-bounded social circle, 1,000 or so community ties ramify across changing, fragmented communities to connect people to the diverse resources of multiple social arenas (Kochen 1989). Many or the chapters in this book show how people make use of these ramified connections. They are useful for getting jobs in China (Bian; see also Lin 1997; Lin, Ye and Chen 1997) and Chile (Espinoza), finding financial capital in Hungary (Sik and Wellman 1997), and helping Hong Kong immigrants to settle into Canada (Salaff and Wong 1995). Indeed Stanley Milgram's (1967) and Harrison White's (1970) observations that the entire world is linked by paths of five or fewer indirect ties are the basis for a recent play and movie, Six Degrees of Separation (Guare 1990, 1993).
Just because community networks ramify, that does not mean that they connect all persons randomly. "Birds of a feather flock together" whether they flock by gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity or race (see Ferrand, Mounier and Degennes chapter, Lee and Campbells chapter, Laumann 1966; Laumann 1973; Wellman 1992b). These clusters organize flows of resources and norms. Even when ties connect people with different social characteristics, they do so unevenly. Moreover, high rates of social mobility leave in their wake cross-cutting ties between people with different social characteristics. Low rates of mobility foster more tightly-bounded clusters (see Ferrand, Mounier and Degennes chapter; Herting, Grusky and Van Rompaey 1997).
As future technology becomes present reality, Wellman and Gulias chapter on virtual communities suggests the potential for computer networks to extend the reach of social networks. It is not only that time and space become less important in computer-mediated communication, but that it is easy to communicate with large groups of community members (using lists) and to bring unconnected community members into direct contact. Yet the ease by which computer-mediated communication connects friends of friends may also increase the density of interconnections among clusters of network members within communities.
Sparsely-knit, fragmentary, loosely-bounded communities make it possible to reach many people through short chains of "friends of friends" (Boissevain 1974). Yet in such sparsely-knit and loosely-bounded networks, people cannot depend on the goodwill or social control of a solidary community. Instead, they must actively search and manipulate their ramifying ties, one-by-one, to deal with their affairs. Indeed, Bians chapter shows this to be true even in reputedly solidary China (see also Freeman and Ruan 1997; Ruan, et al., 1997).
3. Communities Have Moved Out of Neighborhoods to be Dispersed Networks that Continue to be Supportive and Sociable.
As well as contemporary communities being fragmentary, sparsely-knit and loosely-bounded, they are rarely local groupings of neighbors and kin. The residents of developed societies usually know few neighbors, and most members of their personal communities do not live in the same neighborhood (Wellman 1990b; Wellman 1992b). People easily maintain far-flung relationships by telecommunications (with telephones recently being joined by faxes, electronic mail and the Web) and transportation (based on cars, expressways and airplanes). In Toronto, being within one hour's drive or within the local telephone zone and not being in the same neighborhood is the effective boundary for high levels of face-to-face contact and social support (Wellman, Carrington and Hall 1988; Wellman and Tindall 1993). Many relationships stretch even further than the metropolitan area, with an appreciable number spanning the continent or the ocean. This lack of local ties and the presence of community members living elsewhere weakens local commitment and encourages people to vote with their feet: leaving when conditions are bad rather than staying to improve things. For example, the Hong Kong emigrants studied by Salaff, Fong and Wong rely heavily on trans-Pacific ties to make their moves to Canada11.
However, communities have not totally lost their domestic roots. Although the community networks of Torontonians are far-flung, most of Torontonians face-to-face interactions are with people who live or work near them. Torontonians even have much of their telephone contact with neighbors (Wellman Wong Tindall, et al. 1997). Thus, even spatially liberated people cannot avoid neighbors. Local relationships are necessary for domestic safety, controlling actual land-use, and quickly getting goods and services, as Jane Jacobs (1961) has pointed out for North America in the 1950s and Lee and Campbells chapter and Wellman and Gulias support chapter reaffirm for contemporary North America. Moreover, when transportation and communication resources are scarce, local ties assume more importance as Charles Tilly (1973) has argued for portions of pre-industrial Europe and Vicente Espinozas chapter shows for impoverished Chileans. In saying that communities are not as local as they used to be, we need to avoid committing the pastoralist fallacy of thinking our cities and suburbs are inferior to the pestilent, crime-ridden and insecure villages or cities of yore. Pre-industrial communities may never have been as locally-bounded as tradition has maintained. Whenever scholars have looked for non-local ties, they have found far-ranging networks. For example, radioactive analyses of obsidian have found Neolithic spear points and choppers more than one thousand miles from their origin (Dixon, Cann and Renfrew 1968). Moreover, as noted above, LeRoy Ladurie (1975, 1997), Natalie Davis (1983), among others, have described far-flung, mobile networks in Medieval and Renaissance Europe.
Consider, also, the fruits of the unlikely comparison of communities in 20th-century Toronto and 18th-century rural Latvia (Wetherell, Plakans and Wellman 1994). By contrast to the mythical kinship-ridden past, we found that this rural Latvian community did not have enough kin to construct the kinds of social networks that exist today. As these farmers do not appear to have had many friends living beyond the local area, it seems that half the myth was true: Although these groups were local, they only had small clusters of kin at their core. Closer to home, many guests at mid-19th century New York City weddings -- presumably the heart of the marital familys social networks came from other parts of the city, and often from other counties or states (Scherzer 1992).
4. Private Intimacy has Replaced Public Sociability.
Rather than operating out of public neighborhood spaces, contemporary communities usually operate out of private homes. Yet until well into this century, men customarily gathered in communal, quasi-public milieus, such as pubs, cafes, parks and village greens. Take for example this description of eighteenth century Paris:
The whole neighborhood overflowed into the street from nearby houses, workshops, shops and taverns. Around every inhabitant a quartier took on its shape, made up of daily contacts and changing reputations. Individuals worked round the corner from where they lived. (Roche 1981, p. 246)
More accessible than private homes, such places drew their clienteles from fluid networks of regular habitues. Men could drop into such places to talk and to escape domestic boredom. The high density of the city meant that they were likely to find others to talk with. This density, combined with the permeability of the public spaces, provided many opportunities for chance encounters with friends of their friends, and to form new bonds.
Although the men generally went out to enjoy themselves, they also used these public communities to organize politically, to accomplish collective tasks, and to deal with larger organizations. In colonial New England, "neighbors assumed not only the right but the duty to supervise one another's lives" (Wall 1990). This public community was largely a man's game. A woman who went alone to a Parisian wine shop risked being mistaken for a prostitute (Garrioch 1986).
Community has moved inside now, into private homes. The separation of work from residential localities means that co-workers commute from different neighborhoods and no longer come home from work in solidary sociable groups. While men now spend more time at home instead of at bars or cafes, the high percentage of women engaged in paid work outside their homes means that women spend less time at home. Thus husbands and wives are now apt to be at home when both are available to each other. They stay home too, for they are in no mood to go out and socialize after their weary trip home from work. In any event, zoning regulations in North America often place commercial areas for recreation far from home. Domestic pursuits dominate, with husbands and wives spending evenings and weekends together instead of the men going off to pubs and street corners, and few women being home during the day. Workaholics bring their computer disks home; couch potatoes rent videos.
Rather than being accessible to others in public places, people now overcome their isolation by getting together in each other's homes or by telephone and electronic mail. Most members of Torontonians' personal communities do not live near-by but a median distance of nine miles apart (Wellman, Carrington and Hall 1988). The absence of well-used public spaces and near-by community members means that people cannot go out into the neighborhood to find much community. Instead, they have selective encounters, singly or in couples, with dispersed community network members.
Yet the easy accessibility of local relationships means that those local ties that do exist are significant. Although neighbors (living within one mile) comprise only 22% of the Torontonians' active ties, these neighbors engage in fully 42% of all interactions with active network members (Wellman 1996). The neo-conservative privatization of Western societies, the withering of collective public services for general well-being, is reflected in the movement indoors of community life. Even in Toronto, the safest North American metropolis, 36% of the residents report that they feel unsafe walking alone in their neighborhoods at nights (Duffy 1991). Yet the usual flight to safety driving a car or staying home and using the telephone or e-mail offers little opportunity en route for the casual contact and new encounters that can diversify lives. Cars leave garages as sealed units, opened only on reaching the other's home; telephones and modems stay indoors, sustaining closed duets with already-known others.
Where North Americans a generation ago often spent Saturday night going out for a movie and pizza, they now invite a few friends over to their homes to watch videos and order a pizza to be delivered. In 1992, the average Canadian household spent $101 for buying and renting videos compared with $99 for going to live theatre, concerts and movies. It costs $3 per household to rent a video in Toronto, but $8 per person to go to the movies and about $30 to attend a play or concert (Film Canada 1990; Strike 1990). This means that people watch videos at home an average of thirty times per year but go out for entertainment only three or four times a year. The telephone number for Toronto's largest pizza delivery service, 967-11-11, has become so well known that Canadian immigration officers use it as a test to see if border crossers are bona fide Canadian residents. As Toronto pundit Marshall McLuhan observed (1973), North Americans go out to be private in streets where no one greets each another but they stay inside to be public to meet their friends and relatives.
Public spaces have become residual places to pass through or to shop in. Rather than participating in clubs or organizations, when they do go out, North Americans usually go out alone, in couples or in small, informal groups (Putnam 1995). North American church attendance is declining, and Canadian movie attendance declined from eighteen times per year in 1952 to three times per year in 1993. When Torontonians do go out to the movies, most (55%) go alone or in pairs (Oh 1991). The community of the pub in the recent television show, Cheers, was appealing because it is rare. In reality, only 10% of adult Canadians go to a pub once a week or more.12 Suburban shopping malls have become residual agoras for consumption purposes only but not for discussion. Their cafes mock the name, deliberately using tiny tables and uncomfortable chairs to discourage lingering sociability. They provide little opportunity for casual contact or the expansion of networks. This trend is most marked in North America, where "fast food" restaurants tell their patrons to "have a nice day" and expect them to stay less than a half-hour.
As community has become private, people feel responsible for their "own" the members of their community networks with whom they have strong ties but not for the many acquaintances and strangers with whom they rub shoulders but are not otherwise connected. Private contact with familiar friends and relatives has so replaced public gregariousness that people pass each other unsmiling on streets. This privatization may be responsible for the lack of informal help for strangers who are in trouble in public spaces (Latané and Darley 1976). It is probably also a reason why people feel that they lack friends and are surrounded by strangers even when their networks are abundantly supportive (Lofland 1973).
Unfortunately, social network analysis has been better at studying the strong ties of personal, private community than at studying the weak ties and ecological juxtapositions of public community. Network analysts have found out only about strong active ties (Campbell and Lee 1991; Marsden and Campbell 1984) by asking about to whom people feel close as I did (Wellman 1979; Wellman 1982) and as the U.S. General Social Survey did in 1985 (Burt 1984; Marsden 1987) and the Canadian equivalent did in 1985 (Statistics Canada 1987, Stone 1988) or by asking from whom they get various kinds of social support, as both American (e.g., Fischer 1982b) and Dutch social scientists have done (e.g., Knipscheer and Antonucci 1990). Network analysts have been useful and accurate in saying that strong personal communities continue to exist, but they have neglected to look at what is happening all around these networks.
5. Communities have become Domesticated and Feminized
Home is now the base for relationships that are more voluntary and selective than the public communities of the past. Despite the importance of neighborhood ties portrayed in Lee and Campbells and Espinozas chapter, only a minority of community ties in the Western world operates in the public contexts of the neighborhood, formal organizations or work. Community networks now contain high proportions of people who enjoy each other and low proportions of people who are forced to interact with each other because they are juxtaposed in the same neighborhood, kinship group, organization or workplace (Feld 1981). Friends and relatives get together as small sets of singles or couples, but rarely as communal groups (Wellman 1992b). This voluntary selectivity means that communities have become homogeneous networks of people with similar attitudes and life-styles. Wellman and Gulias surfer chapter suggests that the proliferation of computer-mediated communication will only accelerate this trend.
Where once-public communities had been men's worlds, now home-based community networks bring husbands and wives together. Men's community ties are now tucked away in homes just as women's ties have usually been. As community has moved into the home, homes have become less private. Previous generations had confined visitors to ground-floor parlors and dining rooms, but network members now roam all floors.
In their domestic headquarters, Toronto couples operate their networks jointly (Wellman and Wellman 1992). It is a far different scene from the segregated networks that Elizabeth Bott (1957) described in the 1950s for England where husband and wife each had their separate circles of kin and friends. Usually it is the household that exchanges support rather than the person: for example, our Toronto research found in-laws to be as supportive as blood relatives (Wellman and Wortley 1989). By contrast to the specialized support that community members exchange, spouses supply each other with almost all types of social support (Wellman and Wellman 1992). Hence unmarried adults obtain much less social support domestically and do not have access to the networks (and their resources) that accompany spouses to marriage.
In the current situation, married women not only participate in community, they dominate the practice of it in their households. Women have historically been the "kinkeepers" of western society: mothers and sisters keeping relatives connected for themselves, their husbands and their children. They continue to be the preeminent suppliers of emotional support in community networks as well as the major suppliers of domestic services to households (Wellman 1992c; Wright 1989). With the privatization and domestication of community, community-keeping has become an extension of kinkeeping, with both linked to domestic management. No longer do husbands and wives have many separate friendships. As men now usually stay at home during their leisure time, the informal ties of their wives form the basis for relations between married couples. Women define the nature of friendship and help maintain many of their husbands' friendships. Women bear more than the "double-load" of domestic work and paid work; their "triple load" now includes community "net work".
Thus the privatization and domestication of relationships have transformed the nature of community. The domesticated community ties interact in small groups in private homes rather than in larger groups in public spaces. This makes it more difficult for people to form new community ties with friends of their friends, and it focuses the concerns of relationships on dealing with household problems (Wellman 1992b). Women's ties, which dominate community networks, provide important support for dealing with domestic work. Community members help with daily hassles and crises; neighbors mind each other's children; sisters and friends provide emotional support for child, husband and elder care. Because women are the community-keepers and are pressed for time caring for homes and doing paid work, men have become even more cut off from male friendship groups (Wellman 1992c). North American men rarely use their community ties to accomplish collective projects of work, politics or leisure. Their relationships have largely become sociable ties, either as part of the relationship between two married couples or as disconnected relations with a few male "buddies".
This domestication helps explain the contemporary intellectual shift to seeing community and friendship as something that women do better than men. Just as husbands and wives are more involved with each other at home, the focus of couples and male friends is on private, domestic relations. Men's community ties have come to be defined as women's have been: relations of emotional support, companionship, and domestic aid. Thus the nature and success of community are now being defined in domestic, women's terms. Concurrently, the growing dominance of the service sector in the economy means that the manipulation of people and ideas has acquired more cultural importance than the industrial and resource-extraction sectors' manipulation of material goods. With developed economies having more managers and professionals than blue-collar workers (Statistics Canada and Canada 1993), the workplace has shifted to the very emphasis on social relationships that women have traditionally practiced at home.
At the same time, the material comfort of most North Americans means that they no longer need to rely on maintaining good relations with community members to get the necessities for material survival. The goods and services that community members exchange are usually matters of convenience, rarely of necessity, and hardly ever of life and death. Community ties have become ends in themselves, to be enjoyed in their own right and used for emotional adjustment in a society that puts a premium on feeling good about oneself and others. This resonates with contemporary feminist celebration of women for being more qualified in the socioemotional skills that are the basis of contemporary communities and the downgrading of the allegedly masculine qualities of instrumentalism and materialism. Community is no longer about men fixing cars together; it is about couples chatting about domestic problems.
Contemporary discussions of community often reverse the traditional sexist discourse that has seen women as inadequate men. Now it is men who are seen as unable to sustain meaningful community relationships, especially when such relationships are defined only in terms of socioemotional support. This socioemotional definition has almost totally replaced the traditional definition of community as also including instrumental aid. Patriarchical arguments for male superiority in getting things done are being replaced by celebrations of female superiority in knitting together social networks. As "feminist author" Maggie Scarf (Scarf 1987) said on the Oprah Winfrey television show, "Men just don't have friends the way women have friends. Men just don't like to make themselves vulnerable to other men."Clitoris-envy, the alleged longing for empathy among men, has become the new-age replacement for penis-envy among the not-so Iron Johns (Bly 1990).
Seeing Community Networks in Context
Although the assertion that women have greater capacity for community has raised much consciousness, it is an idea that is time bound, culture bound, and empirically unsound. It ignores the thousands of years during which men's bonds largely defined community in public discourse. By reducing the definition of community to socioemotional support, it assumes that the world is as materially comfortable as North American intellectuals.
In less materially comfortable parts of the world, community members do more for each other than being privately sociable and emotionally supportive. Consider how people elsewhere use friends for economic, political and social survival. Greek men argue and plan projects in cafes, poor Chileans help barrio neighbors to survive and find jobs for kin (Espinozas chapter), Chinese job seekers rely heavily on networks (Bians chapter; Lin, Ye and Chen 1997), Hungarians help each other build new homes (Sik and Wellmans chapter), while Hong Kong networks help people to leave their homes (Salaff, Fong and Wongs chapter). Even in more affluent Britain, people value getting services and information from community members as much as they value getting esteem and affection (Argyle 1990). To put matters more broadly, communities do not function in isolation but in political, economic and social milieus that affect their composition, structure and operations. The nature of different societies strongly affects the opportunities and insecurities with which individuals and households must deal, the supportive resources they seek, and the ways in which markets, institutions and networks structure access to these resources.
In many societies, communities are not just ways in which people spend some of their leisure time but key mechanisms by which people and households obtain resources. Yet most North American research has ignored the broader implications of community ties and looked only at "social support": the effects of community ties on maintaining physical and mental health. Although this is an important matter, it is unfortunate how the high level of funding for health-care research has focused attention so narrowly. A broader view would see community as an essential component of society, one of the five principal ways by which people gain access to resources:13
Although all types of resource access can be found in all societies:
While personal communities are important in western, statist and third-world societies, communities are differently composed, structured and used in each type of society. For example, the insecurities of members of western societies largely come from physical and emotional stresses in their personal lives and social relations. Hence people seek support from community members for emotional problems, homemaking chores and domestic crises, and they look to markets and institutions to deal with their economic and political problems.
The comparatively low importance of economic and political concerns in western societies distinguishes the communities in them from those in societies that are less economically or politically secure. Most westerners rely on market exchanges for almost all of their production and much of their consumption. Institutional benefits such as schooling and medical care are abundantly available as citizenship rights. Westerners do not pay as much attention as the inhabitants of statist societies (such as the former East European socialist states) to having community members who can make and fix things (such as home building) or who have connections to strategic institutional circles (see Sik and Wellmans chapter). To make another contrast, because westerners rarely have urgent cares about daily survival, they can manage domestic resources with less apprehension than third-worlders living on the margins.
Networks in the Global Village
Malvina Reynolds (1963?) sang satirically in the 1960s about supposedly buttoned-up, carefree North American life. She described it as:
"Little boxes made of ticky-tacky
Little boxes, little boxes, little boxes
All the same.
Theres a green one, and a pink one, and a blue one, and a yellow one.
And theyre all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same."
Although Ms. Reynolds was giving her dystopian vision of North American suburban homes, she also was critiquing American society as a set of little boxes. The chapters in this book show, fortunately, that the little boxes are only the homes and not the social reality. Wherever possible across the global village people have reached out and transcended their little neighborhood and kinship boxes. They are involved in complex community networks stretching across their cities, regions, nations, and even the oceans. The multiple clusters and limited social control in these networks give people room to maneuver, even if the cost is that they must actively maintain their ties and scan their networks for help. The cost of escaping these little boxes is that people think that they and the world are not well-connected. The advantage is that they have much autonomy to connect where they will.
In the bad old days, before the 1960s, people feared that community had disappeared.
In the good old days of the 1960s and 1970s, people thought community was thriving naturally, as a combined group love-in and support-in.
In the entrepreneurial days of present time, the product of a neo-conservative zeitgeist, people think that community flourishes only if they go out and pull its strings.
But community is not a bad black hole, it is not a solidary, all-loving group, and it is probably not even a set of exchange freaks playing "lets make a deal!"
It is a network - nebulous, far-flung and sparsely-knit, but real and supportive.
Abu-Lughod, Janet. 1991. Changing Cities. New York: HarperCollins.
Aminzade, Ronald and Randy Hodson. 1982. "Social Mobility in a Mid-Nineteenth Century French City." American Sociological Review 47: 441-57.
Anderson, Elijah. 1990. Streetwise. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Anderson, Michael. 1971. Family Structure in Nineteenth Century Lancashire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Argyle, Michael. 1990. "An Exploration of the Effects of Different Relationships on Health, Mental Health and Happiness." Working Paper . Oxford, July.
Aries, Phillipe. 1962. Centuries of Childhood: A Social History of Family Life. Translated by Robert Baldick. New York: Knopf.
Atwood, Margaret. 1985. The Handmaid's Tale. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart.
Austen, Jane. 1811 (1969). Sense and Sensibility. Harmondsworth, Eng.: Penguin.
Ballard, J.G. 1975. High-Rise. London: Jonathan Cape.
Bell, Wendell. 1968. "The City, The Suburb, and a Theory of Social Choice." Pp. 132-178 in The New Urbanization, edited by Scott Green. New York: St. Martin's Press.
Bender, Thomas. 1978. Community and Social Change in America. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Berger, Bennett. 1960. Working Class Suburb. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Bernard, H. Russell, Peter Killworth, David Kronenfield and Lee Sailer. 1984. "The Problem of Informant Accuracy: The Validity of Retrospective Data." : 495-517.
Bible, Holy. 1947. New York: B & S Publishing House:
Bly, Robert. 1990. Iron John: A Book about Men. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Boissevain, Jeremy. 1974. Friends of Friends: Networks, Manipulators, and Coalitions. Oxford:
Bott, Elizabeth. 1957. Family and Social Network. London: Tavistock.
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1984. Distinction. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Brunner, John. 1968. Stand on Zanzibar. Garden City NY: Doubleday.
Brunner, John. 1975. The Shockwave Rider. New York: Harper & Row.
Buccellati, Giorgio. 1967. Cities and Nations of Ancient Syria. Rome: Istituto di Studi del Vicino Oriente, Universitŕ di Roma.
Burawoy, Michael. 1976. "Functions and Reproduction of Migrant Labour." American Journal of Sociology 81: 1050-86.
Burawoy, Michael. 1985. The Politics of Production : Factory Regimes under Capitalism and Socialism. London: Verso.
Burt, Ronald. 1984. "Network Items and the General Social Survey." Social Networks 6: 293-339.
Burt, Ronald. 1986. "A Note on Sociometric Order in the General Social Survey Network Data." Social Networks 8: 149-74.
Burt, Ronald. 1992. Structural Holes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Burt, Ronald. 1997. "The Contingent Value of Social Capital." Administrative Science Quarterly 42: 339-65.
Campbell, Karen and Barret Lee. 1991. "Name Generators in Surveys of Personal Networks." Social Networks 13: 203-221.
Carričre, Jean-Claude [writer]. 1982. Le Retour de Martin Guerre [The Return of Martin Guerre]. Director: Daniel Vigne [film].
Casey, Chris. 1995. "The Senate's New Online Majority". CMC Magazine, October 1, website: http://www.december.com/cmc/mag/1995/oct/toc.html
Castells, Manuel. 1972. The Urban Question. London: Edward Arnold.
Choldin, Harvey. 1985. Cities and Suburbs. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Chudacoff, Howard P. 1972. Mobile Americans: Residential and Social Mobility in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press.
Clark, Samuel D. 1966. The Suburban Society. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Coates, D[onald] B. 1966. "Proposal for a Community Study Project Yorklea Project". Report to Clarke Institute of Psychiatry.
Coates, D[onald] B., Sharon Moyer and Barry Wellman. 1969. "Yorklea Study: Symptoms, Problems and Life Events." Canadian Journal of Public Health 60 (12): 471-81.
Cohen, Abner. 1969. Custom and Politics in Urban Africa. Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Cohen, Sheldon, William Doyle, David Skoner, Bruce Rabin and Jack Gwaltney, Jr. 1997. "Social Ties and Susceptibility to the Common Cold." Journal of the American Medical Association 227 (June 25): 1940-1944.
Coleman, James S. 1990. Foundations of Social Theory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Craven, Paul and Barry Wellman. 1973. "The Network City." Sociological Inquiry 43: 57-88.
Darroch, A. Gordon and Michael Ornstein. 1983. "Family Co-residence in Canada in 1871: Family Life Cycles, Occupations and Networks of Mutual Aid". Report to Institute for Behavioural Research and Department of Sociology, York University.
Davis, Natalie Zemon. 1975. Society and Culture in Early Modern France. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Davis, Natalie Zemon. 1983. The Return of Martin Guerre. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Delaney, Samuel. 1976. Triton. New York: Bantam.
Dixon, J.E., J.R. Cann and Colin Renfrew. 1968. "Obsidian and the Origins of Trade". Scientific American, pp. 80-88.
Doudou, Cameron. 1967. The Gab Boys. London: Deutsch.
Duffy, Andrew. 1991. "Fear on Streets of Metro is Increasing, Poll Shows". Toronto Star, June 7.
Durkheim, Émile. 1893. The Division of Labor in Society. New York: Macmillan.
Durkheim, Émile. 1897. Suicide. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.
Engels, Friedrich. 1885, 1970. "The Housing Question." in Moscow: Progress Publishers.
Etzioni, Amitai. 1991. "Liberals and Communitarians." Pp. 127-152 in A Responsive Society: Collected Essays on Guiding Deliberate Social Change, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Feld, Scott. 1981. "The Focused Organization of Social Ties." American Journal of Sociology 86: 1015-35.
Film Canada. 1990. Film Canada Yearbook. Toronto: Telefilm Canada.
Fischer, Claude. 1976. The Urban Experience. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Fischer, Claude. 1978. "On the Marxian Challenge to Urban Sociology." Comparative Urban Research 6 (2-3): 10-19.
Fischer, Claude. 1982a. "The Dispersion of Kinship Ties in Modern Society." Journal of Family History 7: 353-75.
Fischer, Claude. 1982b. To Dwell Among Friends. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Fischer, Claude. 1984. The Urban Experience. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Fischer, Claude , Robert Max Jackson, C. Ann Steuve, Kathleen Gerson, Lynne McCallister Jones and Mark Baldassare. 1977. Networks and Places. New York: Free Press.
Flap, Henk. 1995. "No Man is an Island: The Research Program of a Social Capital Theory." Presented at International Social Network Conference, London, July.
Freeman, Linton and Danching Ruan. 1997. "An International Comparative Study of Interpersonal Behavior and Role Relationships." LAnnée Sociologique 47: 89-115.
Gans, Herbert. 1962. The Urban Villagers. New York: Free Press.
Gans, Herbert. 1967. The Levittowners. New York: Pantheon.
Garrioch, David. 1986. Neighbourhood and Community in Paris, 1740-1790. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gibson, William. 1986. Count Zero. New York: Arbor House.
Gillis, AR and John Hagan. 1982. "Bystander Apathy and the Territorial Imperative." Sociological Inquiry 53 (4): 448-60.
Gordon, Michael. 1978. The American Family. New York: Random House.
Granovetter, Mark. 1973. "The Strength of Weak Ties." American Journal of Sociology 78: 1360-80.
Granovetter, Mark. 1982. "The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited." Pp. 105-130 in Social Structure and Network Analysis, edited by Peter Marsden and Nan Lin. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Granovetter, Mark. 1983. "The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited." Sociological Theory 1983 : 201-33.
Granovetter, Mark. 1985. "Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness." American Journal of Sociology 91: 481-510.
Granovetter, Mark. 1995. Getting a Job: A Study of Contacts and Careers. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Grant, George. 1969. Technology and Empire: Perspectives on North America. Toronto: Anansi.
Guare, John [author]. 1990. Six Degrees of Separation. Director: Gregory Mosher. [play: May 19, Lincoln Center, New York City]]
Guare, John [writer]. 1993. Six Degrees of Separation. Director: Fred Schlepsi. [movie]
Gurr, Ted Robert. 1981. "Historical Trends in Violent Crimes." Crime and Justice: Annual Review of Research 3: 295-53.
Hall, Alan and Barry Wellman. 1985. "Social Networks and Social Support." Pp. 23-41 in Social Support and Health, edited by Sheldon Cohen and S Leonard Syme. New York: Academic Press.
Haythornthwaite, Caroline and Barry Wellman. 1996. "Using SAS to Convert Ego-Centered Networks to Whole Networks." Bulletin de Methode Sociologique 50: 71-84.
Herting, Gerald, David Grusky and Stephen Van Rompaey. 1997. "The Social Geography of Interstate Mobility and Persistence." American Sociological Review 62 (April): 267-87.
Hillery, George Jr. 1955. "Definitions of Community: Areas of Agreement." Rural Sociology 20: 111-122.
Hiltz, S Roxanne and Murray Turoff. 1978. The Network Nation. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Hinton, William. 1967. Fanshen: A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Hobbes, Thomas. 1651. Leviathan. New York: Penguin Books.
Hufton, Olwen. 1974 The Poor of Eighteenth-Century France: 1750-1789. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Jacobs, Jane. 1961. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Random House.
Kadushin, Charles. 1981. "Notes on Expectations of Rewards in N-Person Networks." Pp. 235-54 in Continuities in Structural Inquiry, edited by Peter Blau and Robert Merton. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage
Katz, Michael. 1975. The People of Hamilton, Canada West. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Katz, Michael B., Michael J. Doucet, and Mark J. Stern. 1982. The Social Organization of Early Industrial Capitalism. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Keller, Suzanne. 1968. The Urban Neighborhood. New York: Random House.
Kennedy, Michael and Naomi Galtz. 1996. "From Marxism to Postcommunism: Socialist Desires and East European Rejections." Annual Review of Sociology 22: 437-58.
Knipscheer, C.P.M. and Toni Antonucci (eds.). 1990. Social Network Research. Amsterdam: Swets & Zeitlinger.
Kochen, Manfred (ed.). 1989. The Small World. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Kornhauser, William. 1959. The Politics of Mass Society. New York: Free Press.
Kornhauser, William. 1968. "Mass Society." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. New York: Macmillan.
Le Roy Ladurie, Emmanuel. 1975 . Montaillou : The Promised Land of Error [Montaillou, Village Occitan de 1294 ŕ 1324.] translated by Barbara Bray. New York: Braziller.
Ladurie, Emmanuel Le Roy. 1997. The Beggar and the Professor: A Sixteenth-Century Saga. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Laslett, Peter. 1965. The World We Have Lost. London: Metheun.
Laslett, Peter, ed. 1972. Household and Family in Past Time: Comparative Studies in the Size and Structure of the Domestic Group Over the Last Three Centuries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Latané, Bibb and John Darley. 1976. Help in a Crisis: Bystander Response to an Emergency. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.
Laumann, Edward. 1966. Prestige and Association in an Urban Community. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.
Laumann, Edward. 1969a. "Friends of Urban Men." Sociometry 32: 54-69.
Laumann, Edward. 1969b. "The Social Structure of Religious and Ethnoreligious Groups in a Metropolitan Community." American Sociological Review 43: 182-97.
Laumann, Edward. 1973. Bonds of Pluralism: The Forms and Substance of Urban Social Networks. New York: Wiley.
Leach, Edmund. 1966. "The Legitimacy of Solomon: Some Structural Aspects of Old Testament History." Archives of European Sociology 7: 58-101.
Lessing, Doris. 1974. Memoirs of a Survivor. London: Octagon Press.
Liebow, Elliot. 1967. Tally's Corner. Boston: Little Brown.
Lin, Nan. 1997. "Guanxi: A Conceptual Analysis." Presented at Conference on the Chinese Triangle of Mainland-Taiwan-Hong Kong, Toronto, August.
Lin, Nan, Xialolan Ye and Yu-Shu Chen. 1997. "Human Capital, Social Resources and Social Capital: Their Contributions to Socioeconomic Attainment in Taiwan". Working Paper . Department of Sociology, Duke University, August.
Lofland, Lyn. 1973. A World of Strangers. New York: Basic.
Machiavelli, Niccolo. 1532. The Prince. New York: Penguin.
Meier, Richard. 1962. A Communications Theory of Urban Growth. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Marsden, Peter. 1987. "Core Discussions Networks of Americans." American Sociological Review 52: 122-31.
Marsden, Peter and Karen E Campbell. 1984. "Measuring Tie Strength." Social Forces 63: 482-501.
Marx, Karl. 1852. "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte." Pp. 223-311 in Karl Marx and Frederick Engels: Selected Works I, Moscow: Foreign Language Publishing House.
Marx, Leo. 1964. The Machine in the Garden. New York: Oxford University Press.
Mayer, Philip and Iona Mayer. 1974. Townsmen or Tribesmen. Capetown: Oxford University Press.
McLuhan, Marshall. 1973. "Liturgy and the Media". The Critic, February, pp. 15-23.
Merton, Robert. 1957. "Patterns of Influence: Cosmopolitans and Locals." Pp. 387-420 in Social Theory and Social Structure, edited by Robert Merton. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.
Michelson, William. "Municipal Boundaries and Prospective LULU Impacts." Research in Community Sociology 7: 117-40.
Milgram, Stanley. 1967. "The Small-World Problem." Psychology Today 1: 62-67.
Mitchell, J. Clyde. 1956. The Kalela Dance. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Monkkonen, Eric. 1995. "New York City Homicides: A Research Note." Social Science History 19 (2): 201-214.
Nisbet, Robert. 1962. Community and Power. New York: Oxford University Press.
Nozawa, Shinji. 1997. Marital Relations and Personal Networks in Urban Japan. Working Paper . Department of Sociology, Shizouka University, May.
Oh, Sandy. 1991. "A Study of Urban and Suburban Movie Audiences and Their Patterns." Urban Sociology Term Paper, University of Toronto.
Oliver, Melvin. 1988. "The Urban Black Community as Network." Sociological Quarterly 29 (4): 623-45.
Pahl, Ray 1984. Divisions of Labour. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Park, Robert. 1925 . "The Urban Community as a Spatial Pattern and a Moral Order." Pp. 55-68 in Robert E. Park on Social Control and Collective Behavior, edited by Ralph Turner. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Parsons, Talcott. 1943. "The Kinship System of the Contemporary United States". American Anthropologist, pp. 22-38.
Peattie, Lisa. 1968. The View From the Barrio. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Poggioli, Renato. 1975. "The Oaten Flute." Pp. 1-41 in The Oaten Flute: Essays on Poetry and the Pastoral Ideal, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Putnam, Robert. 1995. "Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital." Journal of Democracy 6 (1): 65-78.
Radoeva, Detelina. 1988. Old Bulgarians: Value Aspects of their Attitude towards Children as a Part of the Family. Balatonzamardi, Hungary: International Sociological Association Conference on Kinship and Aging.
Redfield, Robert. 1947. "The Folk Society." American Journal of Sociology 52: 293-308.
Reynolds, Malvina. 1963. "Little Boxes." New York: Schroeder Music / ASCAP. [As sung by Pete Seeger, We Shall Overcome: Recorded Live at His Historic Carnegie Hall Concert, June 8, 1963. New York: Columbia Records, CS-8901.]
Roberts, Bryan. 1973. Organizing Strangers: Poor Families in Guatemala City. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Roberts, Bryan. 1978. Cities of Peasants. London: Edward Arnold.
Roche, Daniel. 1981. The People of Paris: An Essay in Popular Culture in the 18th Century. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Ruan, Danching, Linton Freeman, Xinyuan Dai, Yunkang Pan and Wenhong Zhang. 1997. "On the Changing Structure of Social Networks in Urban China." Social Networks 19: 75-89.
Salaff, Janet and Siu-lun Wong. 1995. "Exiting Hong Kong: Social Class Experiences and the Adjustment to 1997." Pp. 176-233 in Emigrating From Hong Kong, edited by Ronald Skeldon. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.
Scarf, Maggie. 1987. Intimate Partners: Patterns in Love and Marriage. New York: Random House.
Scherzer, Kenneth. 1992. The Unbounded Community: Neighborhood Life and Social Structure in New York City, 1830-1875. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Schweizer, Thomas, Michael Schnegg and Susanne Berzborn. 1998. "Personal Networks and Social Support in a Multiethnic Community of Southern California." Social Networks 20: 1-21.
Schwirian, Kent and Gustavo Mesch. 1993. "Embattled Neighborhoods: The Political Ecology of Neighborhood Change." Research in Urban Sociology 3: 83-110.
Scott, John. 1991. Social Network Analysis. London: Sage.
Shorter, Edward. 1975. The Making of the Modern Family. New York: Basic Books.
Sik, Endre. 1988. "Reciprocal Exchange of Labour in Hungary." Pp. 527-47 in On Work, edited by Raymond Pahl. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Sik, Endre and Barry Wellman. 1997. "Network Capital in Capitalist, Communist and Post-Communist Countries: The Case of Hungary." Pp. forthcoming in Networks in the Global Village, edited by Barry Wellman. Boulder, CO: Westview.
Simmel, Georg. 1922. "The Web of Group Affiliations." Pp. 125-95 in Conflict and the Web of Group Affiliations, edited by Kurt Wolff. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.
Slater, Philip. 1970. The Pursuit of Loneliness. Boston: Beacon Press.
Smith, Michael Peter. 1979. The City and Social Theory. New York: St Martins.
Stack, Carol. 1974. All Our Kin. New York: Harper & Row.
Starr, Kevin. 1985. Inventing the Dream: California through the Progressive Era. New York: Oxford University Press.
Starr, Kevin. 1990. Material Dreams: Southern California through the 1920s. New York: Oxford University Press.
Statistics Canada. 1987. Health and Social Support, 1985. Ottawa: Ministry of Supplies and Services. General Social Survey Analysis Series.
Statistics Canada and Status of Women Canada. 1993. Summary Proceedings of International Conference on the Measurement and Valuation of Unpaid Work. Ottawa:
Stein, Maurice. 1960. The Eclipse of Community. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Stephenson, Neal. 1992. Snow Crash. New York: Bantam.
Stone, Lawrence. 1977. The Family, Sex, and Marriage in England, 1500-1800. New York: Harper and Row.
Stone, Leroy. 1988. Family and Friendship Ties among Canada's Seniors. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
Strike, Carol. 1990. "The Film Industry in Canada." Pp. 255-57 in Canadian Social Trends, edited by Craig McKie and Keith Thompson. Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing.
Taub, Richard, George Surgeon, Sara Lindholm, Phyllis Betts Otti and Amy Bridges. 1977. "Urban Voluntary Associations: Locality Based and Externally Induced." American Journal of Sociology 83 (2): 425-442.
Thernstrom, Stephan. 1964. Poverty and Progress: Social Mobility in a Nineteenth-Century City. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Thernstrom, Stephan. 1969. Poverty and Progress: Social Mobility in a Nineteenth Century City. New York: Atheneum.
Thernstrom, Stephan. 1973. The Other Bostonians: Poverty and Progress in the American Metropolis, 1880-1970. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Tilly, Charles. 1973. "Do Communities Act?" Sociological Inquiry 43: 209-40.
Tilly, Charles. 1964. The Vendée: A Sociological Analysis of the Counter- revolution of 1793. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Tilly, Charles. 1975. "Food Supply and Public Order in Modern Europe." Pp. 380-455 in The Formation of National States in Western Europe, edited by Charles Tilly. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Tilly, Charles. 1984a. Big Structures, Large Processes, Huge Comparisons. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Tilly, Charles. 1984b. "The Old New Social History and the New Old Social History." Review 7: 363-406.
Tocqueville, Alexis de. 1835. Democracy in America. New York: Knopf.
Tönnies, Ferdinand. 1887 . Community and Organization. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Turner, Frederick Jackson. 1893 . "The Significance of the Frontier in American History." Pp. 1-38 in Frederick Jackson Turner, The Frontier in American History. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Wall, Helena. 1990. Fierce Communion: Family and Community in North America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Warren, Rolland. 1978. The Community in America. Chicago: Rand McNally.
Wasserman, Stanley and Katherine Faust. 1993. Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Weber, Max. 1946. From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Weber, Max. 1958. The City. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.
Wellman, Barry. 1968. Community Ties and Mental Health. Toronto: Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, August.
Wellman, Barry. 1979. "The Community Question." American Journal of Sociology 84: 1201-31.
Wellman, Barry. 1982. "Studying Personal Communities." Pp. 61-80 in Social Structure and Network Analysis, edited by Peter Marsden and Nan Lin. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Wellman, Barry. 1988a. "The Community Question Re-evaluated." Pp. 81-107 in Power, Community and the City, edited by Michael Peter Smith. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books.
Wellman, Barry. 1988b. "Thinking Structurally." Pp. 15-19 in Social Structures: A Network Approach, edited by Barry Wellman and SD Berkowitz. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wellman, Barry. 1990a. "The Place of Kinfolk in Community Networks." Marriage and Family Review 15 (1/2): 195-228.
Wellman, Barry. 1990b. Where Have All the Friends Gone: Re-Assessing Liberated Communities. Working Paper . Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto, August.
Wellman, Barry. 1992a. "How to Use SAS to Study Egocentric Networks." Cultural Analysis Methods 4 (2): 6-12.
Wellman, Barry. 1992b. "Men in Networks: Private Communities, Domestic Friendships." Pp. 74-114 in Men's Friendships, edited by Peter Nardi. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Wellman, Barry. 1992c. "Which Types of Ties and Networks Give What Kinds of Social Support?" Advances in Group Processes 9: 207-235.
Wellman, Barry. 1993. "An Egocentric Network Tale." Social Networks 17 (2): 423-436.
Wellman, Barry. 1996. "Are Personal Communities Local? A Dumptarian Reconsideration." Social Networks 18: 347-354.
Wellman, Barry, Peter Carrington and Alan Hall. 1988. "Networks as Personal Communities." Pp. 130-84 in Social Structures: A Network Approach, edited by Barry Wellman and S.D. Berkowitz. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wellman, Barry, Ove Frank, Vicente Espinoza, Staffan Lundquist and Craig Wilson. 1991. "Integrating Individual, Relational and Structural Analysis." Social Networks 13: 223-50.
Wellman, Barry and Barry Leighton. 1979. "Networks, Neighborhoods and Communities." Urban Affairs Quarterly 14: 363-90.
Wellman, Barry and David Tindall. 1993. "Reach Out and Touch Some Bodies: How Social Networks Connect Telephone Networks." Pp. 63-93 in Progress in Communication Sciences, edited by William Richards Jr and George Barnett. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Wellman, Beverly and Barry Wellman. 1992. "Domestic Affairs and Network Relations." Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 9: 385-409.
Wellman, Barry and Charles Wetherell. 1996. "Social Network Analysis of Historical Communities: Some Questions from the Present for the Past." History of the Family 1 (1): 97-121.
Wellman, Barry, Renita Wong, David Tindall and Nancy Nazer. 1997. "A Decade of Network Change: Turnover, Mobility and Stability." Social Networks 19 (1): 27-51.
Wellman, Barry and Scot Wortley. 1988. Brothers' Keepers: Situating Kinship Relations in Broader Networks of Social Support. Toronto: Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto Research Paper No 167.
Wellman, Barry and Scot Wortley. 1989. "Brothers' Keepers: Situating Kinship Relations in Broader Networks of Social Support." Sociological Perspectives 32: 273-306.
Wellman, Barry and Scot Wortley. 1990. "Different Strokes From Different Folks: Community Ties and Social Support." American Journal of Sociology 96: 558-88.
Wetherell, Charles, Andrejs Plakans and Barry Wellman. 1994. "Social Networks, Kinship and Community in Eastern Europe." Journal of Interdisciplinary History 24 (4, Spring): 639-663.
White, Harrison. 1970. "Search Parameters for the Small World Problem." Social Forces 49: 259-64.
White, Morton and Lucia White. 1962. The Intellectual Versus the City. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
Whitfield, Stephen and Gene Roddenbery. The Making of Star Trek. New York: Ballantine.
Whyte, William Foote. 1943. Street Corner Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Williams, Raymond. 1973. The Country and the City. London: Chatto & Windus.
Wills, Gary. 1978. Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
Wirth, Louis. 1938. "Urbanism as a Way of Life." American Journal of Sociology 44: 3-24.
Wolf, Eric. 1966. "Kinship, Friendship and Patron-Client Relations." in The Social Anthropology of Complex Societies, edited by Michael Banton. London: Tavistock.
Wright, Paul. 1989. "Gender Differences in Adults' Same- and Cross-Gender Friendships." Pp. 197-221 in Older Adult Friendship, edited by Rebecca Adams and Rosemary Blieszner. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Young, Michael and Peter Willmott. 1957. Family and Kinship in East London. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin.
Zeidman, Reena. 1985. Integration or Alienation: A Case Study of the Twelve Tribes. Working Paper . University of Toronto, Department of Sociology, April 23.
I thank Mark Chapman and Reena
Zeidman for advice in Biblical matters, and Abraham Friedman who gave Bev
Wellman and me the Bible used here ("translated in accordance with
Jewish tradition," 1947) upon our marriage in 1965, inscribed with
the blessing, "May you be blessed with Love, Contentment and Devotion
for each other").
For further details of this
paragraph's argument, see Wellman and Wetherell (1996).
To distinguish in this introduction
between the two chapters by Wellman and Gulia in this book, where necessary
I refer to the chapter titled about the social network basis of support
as "support" and to the chapter about virtual communities as "surfers".
For a summary of mass society
fears, see Kornhauser (1968). Key Third World community studies from this
period include Mayer (India, 1966), Cohen (Nigeria, 1969), Mayer with Mayer
(South Africa, 1974), Mitchell (Rhodesia, 1956) and Peattie (Venezuela,
During the communist era,
there were rural village studies such as Hinton's study of Fanshen
in China (1967) and also studies of work organizations as intermediary units,
such as Burawoy's study of a Hungarian factory (1985). See also Kennedy
and Galtz' recent review (1996).With the exception of Radoeva's Bulgarian
analysis (1988), I confine myself to works in English.
Similar rural-urban mobility
often occurs in contemporary Third World societies, with low-cost buses
and letter-writers helping to maintain connectivity (In addition to Espinoza's
chapter in this book, see, for example, Mayer and with Mayer 1974; Doudou
1967; Roberts 1973, 1978).
The network members in community
studies are persons but in other network analyses they could be organizations,
In addition to the discussion
below, see also Fischer 1982a; Wellman 1988a; Wellman and Leighton 1979.
The specifics are drawn from
the Toronto studies described in this book; see also Wellman, Carrington
and Hall 1988.
Haythornthwaite and Wellman
(1996) have created a procedure using SAS software for decomposing whole
networks into ego-centered networks so that each network member's world
can be analyzed separately.
Some, especially businessmen,
retain important ties with Hong Kong. They are called ?astronauts? in Hong Kong slang, because
they fly back and forth frequently on long, grueling trips. I am not
arguing that local ties are unimportant, only that they usually comprise
a minority of important community ties.
Special analysis by Scot
Wortley of the 1989 Canadian National Alcohol and Other Drug Survey.
French revolutionaries may
have realized three-fifths of this with their demand for ?Liberty, Equality and
Fraternity.? Perhaps their
revolutionary sentiments for a new order led them to deny both Robbery and