The article is devoted to the analysis of the role of social networks in the formation of globalization processes of mankind. It has been found that the role of social networks has always been important in the functioning of society, but in recent decades their influence on the formation of globalization has increased significantly. The global social order arises, in part, through social networks. The global social order gets its meaning, its ideology, its values, not least through social networks. The global social order is institutionalized largely through social networks. The global social order itself is gradually becoming socially networked. The socio-anthropological foundations of the formation of the specifics of human social networks in comparison with the social connections of animals are analyzed. Network theory has shown fairly quickly that networks are not an absolute alternative to hierarchies. Thus, on the example of the functioning of information networks, it became obvious that some nodes that provide access to further contacts outside the internal network – information hubs – are not just nodes, but a kind of "switches" that can completely block external access, and therefore occupy undoubtedly the highest hierarchical status within the network itself. Although when the hub is turned on, there is an illusion of complete freedom and easy availability of all contacts within the network. The modern Covid-19 pandemic has shown how fragile and conditional this illusion of globalization's victory over local social structures is: borders could be easily closed, and international projects, if not completely curtailed, could be often delayed or significantly reduced. However, it is the diversity of global social networks that far exceeds the diversity of global formal organizations (such as the UN, the World Bank, UNESCO, etc.) that ensures that even if we consider globalization not as an objective process but as a project, then "close" globalization will be virtually impossible – as long as people are interested in communicating on a global scale. A comparative analysis of the views of Yuval Noah Harari, Jerry Coyne, Neil Ferguson, Yoran Therborn, Michel Maffesoli. It is hypothesized that social networks transform social institutions from within, including those that make up the institutional framework of globalization. On the other hand, social networks significantly complement the functioning of institutions in ensuring the implementation of social needs of members of society.
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