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Sociologist wins Everett Rogers Award

Mark Granovetter will speak at USC this fall.
Mark Granovetter will speak at USC this fall.

Stanford University professor of sociology Mark Granovetter has been named this year’s recipient of the Everett M. Rogers Award, given annually in honor of the former associate dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Rogers, who died in 2004, was an influential communication scholar best known for originating the diffusion of innovation theory and for introducing the term “early adopter.” Presented since 2005 on behalf of USC Annenberg by the Norman Lear Center, the award recognizes outstanding scholars and practitioners whose work has contributed notable insights to communication.

The Norman Lear Center is a multidisciplinary research and public policy center that studies the impact of entertainment and media on society.

Cited more than 23,000 times, Granovetter’s 1973 paper “The Strength of Weak Ties” is considered to be a milestone in network theory. Close friends are strongly in touch with each other, he wrote, but a person’s acquaintances — weak ties — are bridges to other groups of close friends. According to Granovetter, the more weak ties we have, the more in touch we are with ideas, fashions, job openings and whatever else is going on in diverse and far-flung communities.

On Sept. 18, Granovetter will present “The Strength of Weak Ties Revisited” at USC Annenberg. In his speech, the sociologist will discuss how he came to write his paper, where it fits in the history of social network analysis and how its argument has held up over the years, as well as its significance in recent social revolutions. The event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required at bit.ly/189ayDM.

Granovetter is the Joan Butler Ford Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford and chair of the Department of Sociology, where he has taught since 1995. He received a PhD in sociology from Harvard University. Since 1986 he has been the editor of the Cambridge University Press series “Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences.”

 

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