DOI: 10.18413/2408-9338-2022-8-2-0-1

Social networks and inequality

Contemporary social science is engaged in the active research of network organization of social life. Networking is originally regarded as a positive phenomenon, as a possibility of citizens’ self organization to solve social problems that the unwieldy state structures fail to tackle. However, as networks were becoming an element of daily life, it became evident that their widening presence might have unintended consequences. Social networks adopted new communication technologies and thereby created new challenges for modern societies. These challenges were made obvious in economy where the principle of networking failed to contribute to greater equality in life standards and norms of economic activity in developed and developing countries. Networking underlying modern economies led to growing disparity between the elites, using fully the advantages of globalization, and the rest of the population. Social networks created an environment that became fertile ground for the revival of archaic values and practices, ethnocentrism closed to the rest of the world. Social networks are actively used by both private and state agents to collect data on citizens without violating existing laws. It is necessary to have a balanced view on networks with an awareness of their consequences for society and individuals

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