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Wireless mesh networks consist of radio nodes organized in a mesh topology for serving wireless mesh clients to communicate with one another or to connect to the Internet. Nodes in a mesh network can communicate with each other either directly or through one or more intermediate nodes, similar to social networks. WMNs share many common properties with social networks. We first identify the differences and similarities between social networks and WMNs, and then use metrics that are typically used for social network analysis to assess real WMNs. Analyzing real WMN data collected from the University of California at Santa Barbara MeshNet and Massachusetts Institue of Technology Roofnet testbeds reveals that using SNA metrics are helpful in designing WMNs with better performance. We demonstrate the validity of our conclusions and this new approach by focusing on two sample applications: network reliability assessment and channel access scheduling.