Topological characteristics of the Buddhist Community in the VKontakte social network
Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Assoc. Prof., Head of Department of Politology and Sociology, Dorzhi Banzarov Buryat State University, Ulan-Ude, Russia firstname.lastname@example.org
Leading Software Engineer, Software Systems Laboratory, Buryat State University, Ulan-Ude, Russia. email@example.com
Cand. Sci. (Tech.), Senior Lecturer, Informational Technologies Department, Buryat State University, Ulan-Ude, Russia. firstname.lastname@example.org
This paper provides an analysis of virtual Buddhist communities in the "VKontakte" social net¬works. Social media have become the environment for the emergence of new religious activity forms. Digital social media are a very promising field for sociological research of religious activity and identity. Actually, digital religion is a new agenda in the Sociology of Religion and Digital Social Studies. At the same time this field is connected to the methodological and technical problems of "Big Data" and social networks studies with its weak structured and increasing volume. "VKontakte" is the most popular social network in Russia with more than 380 million users. This article deals with an attempt to analyze a number of important topo-logical characteristics of the graph model of social network "VKontakte" community of Buddhists. For the graph of friendship of Russian Buddhists under consideration, assortativeness, the distribution of degrees of vertices, and the lengths of the shortest paths of the graph are investigated. It is shown that at present there is a significant growth of the Buddhist segment of the social network, there is an increase in the number of Buddhist communities and Buddhist users. This segment as a whole reproduces social and network character¬istics, but Buddhism is not an assortative feature, and Buddhist communities are weakly structured and are under the influence of many differentiating factors.
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