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Animal Social Networks$
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Jens Krause, Richard James, Daniel W. Franks, and Darren P. Croft

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199679041

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679041.001.0001

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Communication and social networks

Communication and social networks

Chapter:
(p.84) Chapter 9 Communication and social networks
Source:
Animal Social Networks
Author(s):

Peter K. McGregor

Andrew G. Horn

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679041.003.0009

This chapter explores the parallels between communication networks and social networks — parallels that are striking because of the key role communication plays in social behaviour. However, differences between the nature of social ties and signalling interactions complicate the interrelationship between social and communication networks. In order to clarify this interrelationship and encourage a better understanding of both network types, this chapter first details some of the contributions of a network approach in understanding communication. Many of the examples relate to the behaviour of eavesdropping. The chapter then discusses three ways in which studies of social and communication networks can be mutually illuminating: communication can be used to map social networks, social network methods can be used to map communication networks, and communication networks can be used to track information flow through social networks. The chapter concludes with a plea for better integration of network thinking into the study of communication and social behaviour more broadly, notably applied to areas such as animal welfare and the conservation implications of anthropogenic noise.

Keywords:   communication, information, signalling interactions, eavesdropping, social network

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