Social Networks Course
Individual Behavior, Strategic Interaction & Structure
There is a pervasive pattern observed in social phenomena. The relation between individual behavior and aggregate outcomes is not a mere summation of the parts. In this course we study how social networks are used to model the link between the microlevel (individuals) and the macrolevel (outcomes, structure). For this we make use of Rational Choice Theory to model individual choices, arguing that an explanation to social phenomena requires to be based on theories about individual behavior.
The course provides answers to the following questions:
- What is the sociological approach to studying the relation between individual and aggregate outcomes?
- How does Rational Choice Theory contributes to understanding social problems?
- What are the network patters one should expect to observe if individuals behave rationally?
- How can we relate this to empirical social life (and networks)?