The Strength of Weak Ties

Topics: Sociology, Social network, Social network service Pages: 2 (637 words) Published: January 20, 2012
Here I would like to emphasize a bit on Social Capital. Social capital according to me is the pool of ties that a person encompasses during his lifetime including strong and weak ties. Persons with higher social capital are bound to be better off with greater health and general well being. Social capital helps to leverage the people we communicate with for the benefit of our shared and individual interest. We can relate this with a famous punch line - “I scratch your back, you scratch mine.” The basic hypothesis of Granovetter’s work is that our acquaintances play a very important part in connecting different networks to one another. A personal example which I would like to share is that I have around 30 very closely knitted friends and family members and about 300 odd acquaintances. These acquaintances are comprised of my old classmates, co-workers and some friends through social networking groups. In the digital world these are friends connected through facebook, LinkedIn, orkut etc. Personally speaking it makes sense that in some cases my family and my close knitted friends are best suited to provide me with quality options and choices. For the most part I believe this is true under certain circumstances during personal care when I am sick or when I need advice for some personal decisions in life. But when it comes to looking out for a job the theory comes true to life. I would be naturally tapping my network of acquaintances and assuming I have a good amount of social capital in my network, I would be more likely be presented with more opportunities than my family and close knitted friends.

Another example explaining the theory of weak ties is between the social networks existing in this globe. We can take an example of how LinkedIn is different from Facebook and why that difference matters. Weak ties are the social "degrees of separation" beyond the people we actually know. Facebook primarily is about knowing who you know, connecting with people who are...
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