Networks and participation: Promoting trust and sustainable cooperation

Social networks – the webs of personal relationships in friendships, online interactions, or trust – are pivotal for sustainable cooperation in communities, organizations and political entities. But networks can also be a major source of conflict and ineffectiveness. Structures of social networks are, moreover, highly important for individuals in searching jobs, housing, partners, or business opportunities. This research cluster develops theories and methods on how social networks form and how they affect participation, trust and cooperation in a range of domains.

The general aim is to unravel how social networks are part of both the genesis of and solution to social problems. Research in this line aims to show how and under which conditions networks foster trust, integration and cooperation in markets, organizations, communities and on the Internet. Similarly, this research cluster furthers our understanding of how social structures are established and how embeddedness of interactions in networks helps sustain cooperative relations in which social actors successfully achieve common ends and resist temptations to disrupt cooperation by egoistic behavior.

 

Key Publications

  • Buskens, V., & Raub, W. (2013) Rational choice social research on social dilemmas: Embeddedness effects on trust. Pp. 113-150 in R. Wittek, T.A.B. Snijders, and V. Nee (eds.) Handbook of Rational Choice Social Research. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press .
  • Diekmann, A., Jann, B., Przepiorka, W., & Wehrli, S. (2014). Reputation formation and the evolution of cooperation in anonymous online markets. American Sociological Review, 79, 65-85.
  • Ellwardt, L., Steglich, C. & Wittek, R. (2012). The co-evolution of gossip and friendship in workplace social networks. Social Networks 34, 623–633.
  • Mäs, M., Flache, A., Takács, K. & Jehn, K. (2013). In the short term we divide, in the long term we unite: Demographic crisscrossing and the effects of faultlines on subgroup polarization. Organization Science 24, 716–736.
  • Munniksma, A., Scheepers, P., Stark, T. H., & Tolsma, J. (2016). The impact of adolescents’ classroom and neighborhood ethnic diversity on same-and cross-ethnic friendships within classrooms. Journal of Research on Adolescence. DOI: 10.1111/jora.12248

Coordinators: Rense Corten, Andreas Flache