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Homophily and Friendship Dynamics: An analysis of friendship formation with respect to homophily principle and distinctiveness theory
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

People always find themselves interacting with others and forming ties with them; these ties shape an individual’s social network which helps form the self-conception and identity of a person. In discussing the essence of social networks and how they are formed the concept of homophily is of high significance. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to show the association between homophily and the process of friendship formation. As the structure of any social network is important in tie formation, I have also intended to study homophilous tie formation from a distinctiveness theory perspective, suggesting that individuals with minority characteristics are more prone to form friendship ties with each other. The types of homophily studied in this research are gender, religion, nationality/ethnicity, and political views. The data is gathered from the cohort which started grade 10 in upper secondary education in a school in Stockholm in Autumn 2012. The analyses were conducted using logistic regression. The results indicated the existence of gender homophily and national homophily. However, religious homophily did not appear to be significant; political homophily was only significant for individuals who were participating in political meetings. However, due to lack of sufficient data, the relations between network structure and homophilous relations could not be accurately tested. Since the data were not collected randomly and the school was chosen due to its specific characteristics, it is not possible to generalize the results of the research to all of the adolescents living in Stockholm. However, this research sheds some light on the mechanisms at play in friendship formation among adolescents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 35 p.
Keyword [en]
Homophily, Social network, Network structure, Distinctiveness theory
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-142321OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-142321DiVA: diva2:1092019
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Available from: 2017-05-17 Created: 2017-04-28 Last updated: 2017-05-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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