I will compare Dunbar’s five circles theory and Fei Xiao Tong’s “differential modes of association”. In Fei’s theory, Yang (1993) and Hwang (1987) categorized Chinese guanxi into three rings, and proposed that each ring of a guanxi circle is governed by different behavioral principles. My study on big data from a major internet company finds some new evidence for these principles. The boundaries among Dunbar’s five circles are not distinguishable, but boundaries are clearly distinguishable using guanxi theory. In addition, their corresponding behavioral principles may help in questionnaire design for measuring differential modes of association.
Luo, Jar-Der is a professor of Sociology Dept., Tsinghua University in Beijing, president of Chinese Network for Social Network Studies, and chairman of Tsinghua Social Network Research Center. He earned his Ph.D degree in Sociology Dept. of State U. of New York at Stony Brook. He researches numerous topics in social network studies, including social capital, trust, social network analysis in big data, self-organization process and Chinese indigenous management researches, such as guanxi and guanxi circle.