October 2012, Polity
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Social relations are crucial for understanding diverse economic actions and a network perspective is central to that explanation. Simple exchanges involving money, labor, and commodities combine into complexly connected systems. Economic networks span many levels of analysis, from persons (consumers, employees), to groups (households, workteams), organizations (corporations, interest groups), populations (industries, markets) and the rapidly expanding global economic system.
David Knoke blends network theories from a range of disciplines and empirical studies of domestic and international economies to illuminate how economic activity is embedded in and constrained by social ties among economic actors. Social capital, in the form of connections to others holding valuable resources, is vital for finding a job, buying a car, creating a new industry, or triggering a global financial crisis. In nontechnical terms the author explicates the core network concepts, measures, and analysis methods behind these phenomena. The book also includes many striking network diagrams to provide visual insights into complex structural patterns.
This accessible book offers an invaluable critique for both undergraduate and graduate students in economic sociology and social network analysis courses who seek a better understanding of the multifaceted economic webs in which we are all entangled.