chapter  10
12 Pages

Social networks and choice: is community talk?

John Dewey recognized that communication is at the heart of any community: we can only share in common what we can communicate with others. Communication - the process of receiving and sending messages - is, fact, the life-blood of all social structures. One political scientist, Karl Deutsch, suggests that it is the nervous system of the body politic, in line with the ‘muscles and bones’ metaphor used by social scientists.2 Sociologically speaking, communication is the means by which the shared perspectives of the group, the agreed-upon under­ standings that permit existence, bind men to each other, reflect cur­ rent social behaviour, and actually mould future actions.