Social network research and social work macro practice

Netting and Kettner (1998) review the notion of community as applied to social work macro practice. Citing Felin (1995) they explain that community occurs when “a group of people form a social unit based on common location, interest, identification, culture and/or activities”. They then outline 3 types of communities (1) geographic or place-based, (2) functional based on identification / interest, and (3) personal/social networks. Methods to understand social networks have advanced considerably since the late 1990s. Nicholas Christakis is a leader of social network analysis. I found the following figure from a recent paper in Annals of Internal Medicine.

There is tremendous opportunity to apply these analytical techniques to understanding community development and social work macro practice.

Drinking in the Framingham Heart Study social network in 2000

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