October  2017 42
研究論文Research Articles
Network Structural Polarization of Opinion Leaders: The Case of the Sina Microblog
作者 龐雲黠、苗偉山
Author Yunxia PANG, Weishan MIAO
關鍵詞 意見領袖、網路結構極化、社會網路分析、群體極化
Keywords opinion leaders, group polarization, network structural polarization, social network analysis
摘要 本文以新浪微博平臺的意見領袖群體為研究物件,使用社會網路分析方法,分析了意見領袖之間彼此的「關注關係」以及「互動關係」,探討了「群體極化」現象產生的結構性原因為網路形成之初的「結構極化」。本文選取分析了234位意見領袖的關注關係與互動關係發現,傳統對於知識份子的「左派」、「右派」的劃分仍然是微博當中意見領袖群體派系分立的關鍵性因素﹔相反,不同「行業領域」則沒有形成行業間派系分離的情形,人們會主動要求與不同領域的溝通。同時通過對四年中微博內容的歷時性分析發現,「左派」、「右派」群體在互動當中一直保持著與關注關係一樣的派系分立的情形,但是衡量分立程度的E-I值並沒有大幅變化,也就是說這種網路互動並沒有體現出動態極化現象。
Abstract Opinion leaders are growing more and more important with widespread SNS use. How opinion leaders communicate and interact with each other and/or their "followers" on SNS is becoming a key factor which may have great impact on public opinion, because. There has been an abundance of research focusing on this topic from other countries, especially on political elites on political communication effects. While there are only a few studies in China exploring Chinese elites who have interest on public affairs. This study investigated the composition, interaction and evolution of opinion leader groups on Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo, using social network analysis.

Though there is only one ruling party in China, the elites still have different specific ideologies. Based on the analysis of 234 selected opinion leaders, this paper found that the traditional classification for "left" and "right" intellectuals was still the key factor to differentiate opinion leaders on Sina Weibo. These opinion leaders mainly followed and interacted in the principle of homophily, meaning they were surrounded by people whose political leanings aligned with theirs. We called such homophily principle in the context of SNS structural polarization, which was the basis of group polarization.

However, opinion leaders in different occupations did not conform to the principle of structural polarization. On the contrary, they were eager to follow and communicate with those in other occupations. By analyzing the "following" and "interactive" patterns among the opinion leaders over 4 years, we found the E-I index of the "left" and the "right" did not fluctuate significantly, although opinion leaders still clustered with the principle of homophily, which implied that group polarization does not show up from the perspective of interactive densities.



Citation of this article:

Pang, Y., & Miao, W. (2017). Network structural polarization of opinion leaders: The case of the Sina Microblog. Communication & Society, 42, 59–90.

No.45  2018 July
No.44  2018 April
No.43  2018 January
No.42  2017 October
No.41  2017 July
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