This book offers a fresh and intriguing look at how our "hidden positions" in various social structures, or human networks, shape how we think and behave, how our very outlook on life is formed. Inequality, social immobility, and political polarization are but a few crucial phenomena driven by the inevitability of social structures. Social structures determine who has power and influence, can explain why people fail to assimilate basic facts, and can help us understand patterns of contagion--from the spread of disease to financial crises. This book illuminates the complexity of the social networks in which we are positioned, sometimes unwittingly, and can help us to better understand why and who we are as individuals.
"Matthew Jackson leads us through a brilliantly insightful tour of how the structures of social networks shape our lives and indeed our very humanity."—Roger Myerson, Nobel Laureate in Economics, The University of Chicago
Matthew O. Jackson is a chaired professor of economics at Stanford University, an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute, and a senior fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advance Research. For more than twenty-five years, he has been researching social and economic networks, and published a leading graduate-level text on the subject: Social and Economic Networks. Jackson is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, and the Game Theory Society, and an Economic Theory Fellow, and former Guggenheim Fellow. He has reached more than a million students via his popular online courses (MOOCs) on social and economic networks and game theory.