Structural balance theory attends to a group’s network of sentiments and posits that this network alters over time toward particular structural forms. Current work on the theory is focused on understanding the mechanisms that alter sentiments as a function of the configuration of sentiments in which they are embedded. Although the theory assumes tension reductionmechanisms, there has been no effort to directly measure and model the temporal changes of individuals’ relational tensions that are predicted by the theory. This article elaborates and tests balance theory with an empirical analysis of its posited interpersonal tensions and their reductions via a sentiment conversion process. In addition, the authors open a newline of inquiry on the theory’s scope conditions and point to a community commitment condition that is involved in the realization of structural balance. Their analysis draws on a unique suite of multiwavemeasures obtained from the Urban Communes Data Set.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science