The strength of ties: A theoretical and empirical exploration of its multiple meanings

Irene Cruz Gómez, Joan Miquel Verd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The strength of a tie is feature commonly studied in the analysis of personal networks. It is data apparently simple to create, that offers a great predictive potential on the exchanges that take place within a relationship, and of its position within the network. However, the wide diversity of indicators that can be found in the literature show evidence of the vagueness in the definition of the concept and the subsequent difficulty to operationalize it, returning mixed results in empirical observation. With this theoretical, methodological and empirical revision, the authors aim to contribute to the definition of the concept. A theoretical dimen-sionalization of the concept is proposed, distinguishing the expressive, social and structural aspects of the notion. A comparison of various indicators of the different dimensions is offered, using a sample of 441 personal networks and 13,230 relationships, from a survey conducted in Catalonia between 2009 and 2010.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-174
JournalEmpiria
Issue number26
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013

Keywords

  • Bridge
  • Homophily
  • Operationalization
  • Personal network
  • Strength of weak ties

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