Citation for James Moody and Douglas White
(Read at the Mathematical Sociology Business Meeting, August 142004, San Francisco)
This year's Outstanding Article award goes to James Moody and Douglas White for their article "Structural Cohesion and Embeddedness: A Hierarchical Concept of Social Groups" which appeared in the American Sociological Review, February 2003. This paper develops a new graph-theoretic treatment of structural cohesion based on node connectivity, capturing the intuition that more cohesive groups should be better able to survive the loss of group members. Their method detects group structure, identifying both overlapping and hierarchically nested subgroups at different levels of cohesion, and also generates a measure of each actor's embeddedness within the group. Their empirical analyses of high-school friendship networks and corporate interlocking directorates reveal the explanatory power of structural cohesion controlling for other commonly used network measures such as degree and centrality. By offering a more precise conceptuali¬zation of the key sociological concepts of "solidarity" and "embeddedness," Moody and White have demonstrated the value of mathematical sociology, and we are pleased to present them with this award.