American Sociological Association

If Only It Were That Complex

Research on the dynamics of social change is often framed by what Damon Centola refers to in his new book How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions as “the convenience of classical epidemiological tropes” (p. 173) in which “contagions” spread from infected to susceptible individuals through interaction. Social networks became alluring to use in conjunction with this epidemiological frame because the two together evoke the determinism of electrical wiring, with charges traveling paths (ties) structured by the location of switches (nodes) in the line. These network contagion models are analytically precise and compelling, if not wholly accurate, models for the epidemiology of some types of infectious diseases.

Authors

Jon Atwell

Volume

49

Issue

2

Starting Page

127

Ending Page

131