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A network approach to studying effects of ethnic background on friendship and social groups. Janna Fortuin Department of Education and Child Studies Leiden University, the Netherlands Ale š Ž iberna Faculty of Social Sciences University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. University of Ljubljana

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A network approach to studying effects of ethnic background on friendship and social groups

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A network approach to studying effects of ethnic background on friendship and social groups l.jpg

A network approach to studying effects of ethnic background on friendship and social groups

Janna Fortuin

Department of Education and Child Studies

Leiden University, the Netherlands

Aleš Žiberna

Faculty of Social Sciences

University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

University of Ljubljana

Faculty of Social Sciences


Outline l.jpg

Outline

  • Theory

  • Research question

  • Data and sample

  • Analysis

  • Results so far

  • Conclusion

  • discussion


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Social relations

  • Social relations: difference between friendship and social interaction within the classroom

  • Friendship research: focus on individuals

  • similarity-attraction hypothesis

  • Does this apply to both friendship and interaction networks?


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Social network analysis

  • Focus on dyads, within context of network

  • Study both structural and actor-effects

  • Friendship: directed networks

  • Social interaction: undirected networks

  • Social relations from an educational practical application: integration


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Research question

  • “To which degree are the friendship and interaction networks explained by objective and subjective ethnicity”

  • Controlling for structural effects, sociometric status, religion and activity involvement


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Sample

  • 296 pupils in 14 sixth-grade classrooms, drawn from 14 multicultural elementary schools

  • Mean age= 11.4 (s.d. 0.63)

  • Class size 15-30 pupils


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Questionnaire

  • Friendship measure: “name your three best friends”

  • Social interaction measure: “who hangs out with whom”-> transformed using NETWORKS 4.0 into one social composite map with an undirected network

  • Subjective ethnicity: “I am a…”

  • Objective ethnicity: country of birth of parents


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Network examples

green – boystriangles – subjective ethnicity is only Dutch

red – girlscircles – subjective ethnicity is not only Dutch


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Preliminary data-analysis

  • Selection of 6 schools

  • Method: ERGM using SIENA

    • Missings were deleted

    • Some convergence problems


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ERGM analysis

  • Dependent variable: social interaction or friendship network

  • Candidates for explanatory variables:

    • network variables (reciprocity, transitivity, degree distribution)

    • objective and subjective ethnicity

    • controlling variables (gender, age, participation in activities, religion and social status)


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Models with Social Interaction Networks


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Models with Friendship Networks


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Results summarized

  • No consistent pattern

  • Social interaction networks:

    • in half of the schools, ethnicity plays a role

    • some activity involvement effects

    • one effect of being Muslim


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Results continued

  • Friendship Networks:

    • ethnicity plays a role in 3 out of 5 schools

    • some activity involvement effects

    • Also some effects of having a popular or rejected sociometric status


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Conclusions

  • Ethnicity plays a role in some classes, but it is not clear why this happens or doesn’t happen

  • A lot of variability in the type of ethnicity effect

  • Control variables are important in some classes, their inclusion sometimes diminishes the effect of ethnicity

  • Social interaction networks and friendship networks seem quite alike


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Further analysis

  • All 14 schools, perhaps with deletion of schools with many missings

  • Multilevel analysis of results to detect any consistent pattern (obtaining convergence for the same model in all schools can be problematic)

  • All schools (with not too many missings) as one network

  • Explanation for presence or absence of ethnicity effect: multicultural make-up of the class? Other class-level constructs? Teacher effects?


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Discussion

  • Please give us your feedback, to improve the next analysis and the paper!


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