Don’t mess with strong ties


The Sopranos as a model for Kadushan Chapter 6 concepts.  “Motivations for safety, effectance and status are critical in establishing rankings within small groups” (p. 88)  The inner core of the system “The clique of insiders” are connected by strong ties and they are “Surrounded by hangers-on who are linked by weak ties.

This “small group” — The Sopranos — is a New Jersey based crime family and part of a larger network of crime with connections to the mafia and other similar crime families who co-exist within their larger “industry” network.  There are informal connections across the families – the “chimney’s” described by Kadushan enable communication across hierarchical systems without having to go to the top of the chain of command.   For example Paulie talks to his counterpart  Johnny Sack from the Lupertazzi crime family.

Tony Soprano has more of what is valued by the system and he directs interaction towards others of less rank – he has the power – he leads.   The “family” becomes segmented by structural similarity – layers are formed in terms of relationship similarity.

The family is motivated by safety and the desire to affirm their worth which leads to the desire to control or make a difference in one’s interaction environment and a need for rank directs the interaction.  “Social climbing” or rank within the group is clear in the family.

*Soprano image courtesy of Google

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6 thoughts on “Don’t mess with strong ties

  1. @KateInAlberta says:

    Great post! Very nice mini social network analysis by way of pop culture!

  2. johnbayko says:

    Nice analogy Teresa. I find it very helpful to read this type of analysis because I find the text very confusing and difficult to process. It’s nice when someone can make those bridges to more accessible explanations of concepts; those are the things I remember beyond class and down the road when I’m out of the academic mindset and back in reality.

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