In 2022, the COALESCE Lab has started a two-weekly reading group on social cohesion and networks, led by Dr. Yunsub Lee. We discuss both classical and state-of-the-art texts on social cohesion from a wide array of perspectives, related to the projects we are conducting.
We started with two texts from the Annual Review of Sociology, a classic by Noah Friedkin (2004) and a more recent one by Tom van der Meer and Jochem Tolsma (2014). Dr. Yunsub Lee led the discussion.
We then moved on to Peter Blau's macro-level theory of social structure (AJS, 1977) and a modern-day application of the concept of Blau space by Miller McPherson and Jeffrey Smith (Socius, 2019). Nigel van Herwijnen led the discussion.
Next up were the equally classic paper on structural cohesion by James Moody and Douglas White (ASR, 2003) and, how could we not, Mark Granovetter's "The Strength of Weak Ties" (AJS, 1973) in week 3. Granovetter´s paper has beaten records of citations in the social sciences. Zhiyi Jin was the discussion leader.
In December, we discussed Ellis Monk´s exciting new paper on inequality without groups (2022), together with the late Charles Tilly´s "Social Boundary Mechanisms" (2004). Nuria Targarona Rifà led the discussion.
We discussed two papers, namely Kossinets and Watts' "Origins of homophily in an evolving social network" (2009) and Damon Centola´s "The social origins of networks and diffusion" (2015). Alexi Quintana Mathé introduced the paper and led the discussion.
We focused on polarization, with the paper "Dynamics of Political Polarization" by Delia Baldassarri and Peter Bearman and the paper "The origins and consequences of affective polarization in the United States" by Shanto Iyengar and colleagues. Alejandro Ciordia moderated the discussion.
This session is focused on the measurement of social capital, with two papers, Nan Lin´s "Building a network theory of social capital" and a recent paper by Raj Chetty et al., "Social capital I: measurement and associations with economic mobility". In addition, two suggested papers are Steve Borgatti et al.'s "Network measures of social capital" and Paul DiMaggio and Filiz Garip's "How network externalities can exacerbate intergroup inequality". Zhiyi Jin moderates the discussion.