Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

9-1-2009

Publication Source

Revista Internacional de Sociología

Volume

67

Issue

3

Start Page

537

Last Page

558

DOI

10.3989/ris.2008.01.14

Abstract

There is interdependence when the actions of an individual influence the decisions (and later actions) of other individuals. This paper claims that social networks define the structure of that range of influence and unleash a number of mechanisms that go beyond those captured by rational action theory. Networks give access to the ideas and actions of other individuals, and this exposure determines the activation of thresholds, the timing of actions, and the emergence of contagion processes, informational cascades and epidemics. This paper sustains that rational action theory does not offer the necessary tools to model these processes if it is not inserted in a general theory of networks. This is especially the case in the context opened by new information and communication technologies, where the interdependence of individuals is acquiring greater empirical relevance.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Este obra está bajo una licencia Creative Commons Reconocimiento 3.0 España (CC-by).

Comments

González-Bailón, S. (2009). “Networks and Mechanisms of Interdependence: Theoretical Developments Beyond the Rational Action Model. Revista Internacional de Sociología, 67(3), 537-558. doi: 10.3989/ris.2008.01.14

At the time of publication, author Sandra González-Bailón was affiliated with the Oxford Internet Institute and Nuffield College. University of Oxford. Currently (February 2016), she is a faculty member at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

Keywords

cascades, collective action, internet, social influence, threshold

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Date Posted: 24 February 2017