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      The Role of Space in the Formation of Social Ties

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      Annual Review of Sociology

      Annual Reviews

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          Abstract

          Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in the relation between networks and spatial context. This review examines critically a selection of the literature on how physical space affects the formation of social ties. Different aspects of this question have been a feature in network analysis, neighborhood research, geography, organizational science, architecture and design, and urban planning. Focusing primarily on work at the meso- and microlevels of analysis, we pay special attention to studies examining spatial processes in neighborhood and organizational contexts. We argue that spatial context plays a role in the formation of social ties through at least three mechanisms, spatial propinquity, spatial composition, and spatial configuration; that fully capturing the role of spatial context will require multiple disciplinary perspectives and both qualitative and quantitative research; and that both methodological and conceptual questions central to the role of space in networks remain to be answered. We conclude by identifying major challenges in this work and proposing areas for future research.

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          Most cited references 119

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          The Focused Organization of Social Ties

           Scott Feld (1981)
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            A Space for Place in Sociology

             Thomas Gieryn (2000)
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              The acquaintance process.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Sociology
                Annu. Rev. Sociol.
                Annual Reviews
                0360-0572
                1545-2115
                July 30 2019
                July 30 2019
                : 45
                : 1
                : 111-132
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Sociology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA;
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-soc-073018-022707
                © 2019

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