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here you find the suggestions I received about how to measure strong and weak ties. This has been very helpful, thanks.
filippo barbera

Barry Wellman said: "Our East York research into interpersonal ties clearly showed that one of
Granovetter's criteria for strong ties, frequent contact, was independent
of other criteria: structural embeddedness, perceived social closeness.

Frequent contact predicted to routine material aid.
The other criteria (which we called "tie strength") predicted to
sociability and emotional aid.

In short, social capitalists should maintain a diversified portfolio".

Lotte Vermeij  said: "my choices in this were more intuitive
than based on full information. However, I still feel confident about my

I conducted a survey among high school pupils yielding the full networks of
86 school classes. In my questionnaire I posed 5 positive network questions.
A weak tie, I operationalized as one hit out of these 5 items. A strong tie,
I operationalized as more than one hit.

I used the following items, formulated somewhat more elaborate with
examples. Because they are partly inspired by my research interest -
interethnic cultural exchange - they may not be much use to you.

1. With whom do you talk about what's right and wrong?
2. With whom do you talk about what's beautiful?
3. Who helps you with practical things?
4. Who helps you with emotional problems?
5. Who do you interact with after school hours.

R.C.VAN.DER.HULST  said: "I measured it with 2 questions (both 5-point Likert scale):

1) frequency of contact
2) emotional closeness to the contact

Tie strength is the product of both


Wellman and Wortley's papers in Sociological Perspectives (1989) and
American Journal of SOciology (1990): the latter is on Wellman´s website.

Kleit, Rachel Garshick. The role of neighborhood social networks in scattered-site public housing residents' search for jobs. Housing Policy Debate. 2001; 12(3):541-574. (See the table on p.

Burt, Ronald S. Range. Burt, Ronald S. and Minor, Michael J. Applied Network Analysis: a Methodological Introduction. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.; 1983; pp. 176-94.

Linton Freeman, ``The Sociological Concept of `Group': An Empirical Test of Two Models''
American Journal of Sociology, 98, 1992, 55-79.

Marsden, P.V. & Campbell, K.E. 1984. Measuring tie strength. Social Forces,
63(2): 482-501.

Valente, T. W., & Vlahov, D. (2001). Selective risk taking among
needle exchange participants in Baltimore: Implications for supplemental
interventions. American Journal of Public Health, 91, 406-411.

"Simmelian Ties: Super Strong and Sticky", (1998) in Roderick Kramer and
Margaret Neale (eds.) Power and Influence in Organizations. Thousand Oaks,
CA: Sage, pp. 21-38.

Miller McPherson
American Sociological Review in 1992, "Social Networks and Organizational

Rowley, T., Behrens, D., & Krackhardt, D. 2000 Redundant governance structures: An analysis of structural and relational embeddedness in the steel and semiconductor industry. Strategic Management Journal, 21: 369-386.

Krackhardt, D. 1992 The strength of strong ties. In N. Nohria & R. Eccles (Eds.), Networks and Organizations: Structure, Form and Action. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

"Measuring the Social Capital of Brokerage Roles"
Volker G. Täube, Forthcoming in Connections

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