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In this position paper we explore a holistic approach for the integration of social and human-level concepts with all layers of the communication network. This integration is bidirectional - the social information can help inform and configure network-level parameters, while network information can contribute to the gathering and learning of social-level information. We review existing work and emerging trends in the area, as well as propose new ideas for socially-aware network applications. We present the motivations for a unified approach for integrating socially related information throughout the networking stack, and introduce the concept of a social area network (SocAN), which encompasses network architectures built for and around people and their social relationships.