Blog Archives

Video: Social Networks and Situation in Ukraine

Social networks theory can help us understand and explain the ongoing processes in societies all over the world. In this video I apply network theory to analyze the dynamics of protests in Ukraine, from Euromaidan to situation in Crimea.

This video was created for COMM506 course, which is an integral part of the MACT program (University of Alberta). You can also check my original Prezi here.

Hope you will like my video! Let me know what you think about it in comments below 🙂

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Network theory and situation in Ukraine

First of all, I think that what is happening at the moment in Ukraine is horrible; in fact, it’s a tragedy not only for Ukrainian and Russian people, but also for the whole world. I still hope that the conflict can and will be solved without violence, in a peaceful manner.
Nevertheless, when I was following the story in the news, I understood that we could actually use the network theory principles to understand the conflict dynamics in southeastern regions of Ukraine.

So, in this post I would like to avoid politics, discussions about who’s right and who’s wrong, as well as calling names, and look at the situation from the positions of social networks scholars instead.  My small research is based on the information available on different Ukrainian and Russian web sites, discussions with friends in Ukraine, as well as on some reports in Western press.

As we know, the whole population of Earth can be described in terms of social networks. This enormous network consists of myriads of different more or less dense clusters connected with each other by strong or weak ties, as well as of structural holes.

The dense clusters are usually formed on the basis of homophily principle (i.e. some common attributes, such as connection, friendship and even language). Propinquity (often geographical) is another characteristic of network clusters. These properties of social networks help to develop a sense of “trust” among their members, as well as generate social support, cohesion and embeddedness, in other words, make people feel themselves  as a part of one group and support group decisions.  Read the rest of this entry

How social networks theory led to changes in personal skills development trainings

Disclaimer:

This is the first of many posts you will find here in the upcoming weeks. Mostly I will post here my thoughts and findings related to the topics that are central for my studies of digital media and social networks. However, I reserve the right to write here about my travels and other interesting things as well. All the blog posts will be tagged accordingly, so if you are interested in my posts about social networks only, please feel free to use tags or navigation panel in the right column to filter the posts.

tippingpoint
photo credit: jgarber via photopin cc

This week in class we explored the psychological foundations of social networks. It is important to understand that human social networks ≠ online social networks. The first is a global phenomenon that could be observed even in hunter-gatherer societies; the latter is a specific manifestation of the social networks’ phenomenon that allows us to study human behavior in groups and societies on a whole new level. Online social networks allow researchers to find and visualize the hidden links between people in society and analyze the relations between networks’ members in an unbiased way, based on the digital data provided by platforms.

Social networks have a lot of amazing features and influence our lives in many unexpected ways. Do you know, for example, that your social network (that is, all the people you know and is connected with) is to blame if you are unhappy or have weight problems? On the other hand, without social networks (specifically the networks that are characterized by weak ties and structural holes), there would be no disruptive innovations, as they emerge mainly when people of different backgrounds meet.

Read the rest of this entry