A model of robust positions in social networks

Matthew S. Bothner, Edward Bishop Smith, Harrison C. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


This article introduces a network model that pictures occupants of robust positions as recipients of diversified support from durably located others and portrays occupants of fragile positions as dependents on tenuously situated others. The model extends Herfindahl's index of concentration by bringing in the recursiveness of Bonacich's method. Using Newcomb's study of a college fraternity, we find empirical support for the contention that fragility reduces future growth in status. Applications of the model to input-output networks among industries in the U.S. economy and to hiring networks among academic departments are also presented. Implications for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)943-992
Number of pages50
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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