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Title: Friends, neighbours and kin : development of social contacts, with special reference to stages in the life cycle and class factors
Author: Cubitt, Tessa
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1971
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This research was undertaken to examine the way that social networks are formed and change and the factors which influence these changes. The conjugal pair was taken as the focus of the network and married couples selected from a district of Edinburgh to form a research set. The project was carried out by means of a series of interviews with the members of the research set and participant observation. The data suggested the following network characteristics. It was found that the main factor affecting network changes was the stage in the developmental cycle of the family. In the different stages of the developmental cycle, network recruitment was from different sectors. Thus in the first stage of the development cycle most network members were old childhood friends, in the second stage recruitment was mostly from the neighbourhood, in the third stage network members were recruited from voluntary associations and the work situation and in the final stage the network was made up mostly of kin. The results were similar for both the working class and the middle class members of the research set. Social class was found to influence the way social contacts were made within the sectors, thus the way in which network links were formed differed between the middle class couples and the working class couples. Another finding was that the networks of the research set were of low density, but that the density of the individual sectors was high. This suggests that urban married couples have low density social networks but that high density areas may be found in the sectors of the network. Since the project showed that the stage in the developmental cycle of the family was largely responsible for the sectors from which recruitment to the network took place, it can be suggested that the high density areas of a social network are dependent on the stage in the family cycle of the conjugal pair. High density networks are likely to produce norm enforcing groups and therefore it seems that the stage in the developmental cycle is an important factor in influencing network changes and characteristics and also in determining in which sectors norm enforcing groups will exist.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available