The Sociological Science behind Social Networks by N. Christakis

Nicholas Christakis is a professor of Medical Sociology, Medicine, and Sociology at Harvard University. In the following video he explains why and how to study and examine collective phenomena. A definition is given about artificial and natural social networks in order to understand human social behavior and society. Networks have properties not even present in constituent individuals and exhibit a collective intelligence that is not available to each one individual.

The presentation is very interesting and provides us with some basic principles of modern sociology.

Key questions that you will encounter:

  • What is a collective phenomenon and a collective reality?
  • How to launch a collective response?
  • Group level phenomena
  • How is Social Capital generated
  • Collective Identity Theory
  • Methodological Holism and Individualism
  • Structure vs Agency