Small world research

Schnettler, S. (Ed.)
SAGE benchmarks in social research methods -
1544 pages. Los Angeles [et al.], SAGE (2013)


Small-world research started about fifty years ago with an idea about a social phenomenon: that any two randomly chosen individuals in a country, or in the world even, could be connected with each other via a relatively short chain of acquaintances. But since its formation, this idea has evolved and - despite research almost dying off in the 1980s - has now become an exciting and vital area of study. Following the publication of seminal research in the late 1990s, which shed new light on the question of how short connections are possible in large scale networks, researchers began to see the significance of their subject reflected in many different facets of existence; small-world structures were found in a number of distinct contexts, including, for example, a protein interaction network and in communication networks via instant messaging. What had once started as small-world research has now evolved into an interdisciplinary science of complex networks. In this four-volume set, the history, development and potential future of this intriguing idea is mapped and illustrated through a masterfully selected collection of articles, written and introduced by respected authorities on the subject.
Keywords: social network, social structure
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.