The term is used to describe a social structure determined by such interactions.
The ties through which any given social unit connects represent the convergence of the various social contacts of that unit.
The study of these structures uses social network analysis to identify local and global patterns, locate influential entities, and examine network dynamics.
Social networks and the analysis of them is an inherently interdisciplinary academic field which emerged from social psychology, sociology, statistics, and graph theory.
Practical limitations of computing power, ethics and participant recruitment and payment also limit the scope of a social network analysis.
The nuances of a local system may be lost in a large network analysis, hence the quality of information may be more important than its scale for understanding network properties.
Although Syme is similar in appearance to both Google Plus and Facebook, in effect it functions more like Whats App, a leaner mobile app that functions like a social network but dispenses with profile pages to focus of messaging.
And while they claim to be unable to read the content posted to the site, Syme's admins admit that they do store metadata - information describing who the message is from and to, for example - which could be useful to those conduction surveillance.
Durkheim gave a non-individualistic explanation of social facts, arguing that social phenomena arise when interacting individuals constitute a reality that can no longer be accounted for in terms of the properties of individual actors.
Georg Simmel, writing at the turn of the twentieth century, pointed to the nature of networks and the effect of network size on interaction and examined the likelihood of interaction in loosely knit networks rather than groups. Moreno began systematic recording and analysis of social interaction in small groups, especially classrooms and work groups (see sociometry).
Precisely because many different types of relations, singular or in combination, form these network configurations, network analytics are useful to a broad range of research enterprises.
In social science, these fields of study include, but are not limited to anthropology, biology, communication studies, economics, geography, information science, organizational studies, social psychology, sociology, and sociolinguistics.
In anthropology, the foundation for social network theory is the theoretical and ethnographic work of Bronislaw Malinowski, By the 1970s, a growing number of scholars worked to combine the different tracks and traditions.