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Networks and Contexts: Variation in the Structure of Social Ties


Entwisle, Barbara; Faust, Katherine; Rindfuss, Ronald R.; & Kaneda, Toshiko (2007). Networks and Contexts: Variation in the Structure of Social Ties. American Journal of Sociology, 112(5), 1495-1533.


A core axiom of sociology is that social structure affects and is affected by human behavior. The term "social structure" conveys two quite different meanings. One meaning is relational, involving networks of ties between individuals or groups of individuals. A second meaning refers to the contexts containing these individuals. Studies of neighborhood and community effects depend on variability in both types of social structure. Using data from multiple villages in Nang Rong, Thailand, this article documents substantial variability in network structure and shows that network structure covaries with context in meaningful ways, suggesting reciprocal effects of changes in both. Finally, it considers implications of variability in network structure, showing that social cohesion affects the likelihood of finding and interviewing former village residents.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Sociology


Entwisle, Barbara
Faust, Katherine
Rindfuss, Ronald R.
Kaneda, Toshiko