Positions in a network are important for different reasons such as well-being. In the following several concepts will be introduced to gauge positions in a social networks.
People prefer balanced relationship structures. According to Heider (Heider, 1946), imbalances cause psychological distress. To balance people create or drop ties. However, balance may not be equally important.
A structural hole means being between two other actors with the only transitive connection between them passing through one (Burt, 2009). In a sturctural hole, one is exposed to different views. However, network brokerage is a probability and may not guarantee advantages.
Embeddedness of ties
A tie embedded in a triad with two additional strong ties is called a Simmelian tie. They are supposed to be more powerful as they enforce solidarity and protect from malfeasance.
In general, a transferable capital that is inherent to the connections between people (Bourdieu, 1986; Coleman, 1988).
Safety and Effectance
Safety includes fulfilment of emotional needs such as trust and reputation (e.g. embeddedness. Effectance on the other hand means to learn new things and being autonomous (e.g. brokerage through structural holes).
The ties that torture
Being in a structural hole between two Simmelian ties means to have to uphold two different social constraints at once that may even be contradictory (Krackhardt, 1999).
The strength of the weak tie
Week ties connect one to networks with different information that allows one to acquire new knowledge (Granovetter, 1973).
Embeddedness of economic actions
Economic actions are embedded in social relations. This, the constrained options of actors to engage in interaction are taken into account. The action between economic actors depend on the type, strength and embeddedness of a relationship.