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Homophily and heterophily in the position-generated networks Dan Ao Department of Sociology The Chinese University of Hong Kong May 30th , 2008
Homophily and heterophily • Social capital is defined as resources embedded in one’s social network (Lin, 2001). • From the perspective of resource composition, two types of social capital can be identified: • Homophilous (homophily) • heterophilous (heterophily) • Lazarsfeld & Merton 1954
Homophily • There is voluminous evidence in the literature that the principle of homophily exists in social networks (e.g., Fischer 1982; Homans 1950; Laumann 1966, 1973, 1976; Lazarsfeld & Merton 1954; Lin 1982; Marsden 1981, 1988, 1990; McPherson et al. 2001). • The extent of homophily varies for each respondent, which may be one of the sources that differentiations in a variety of outcomes come out.
Heterophily • Less attention has been paid to the heterophily principle. • How are the ties with groups other than that to which a respondent belongs formed? • Are the heterophilous ties formed randomly? • Are the heterophilous ties formed with certain patterns? • Social distance (Bogardus (1933), Laumann (1966), or McFarland and Brown (1973))
Homophily and heterophily patterns in the name-generated network data (1) • Marsden (1988) examined the patterns of inbreeding and social distance on respondent-alter dyads discussing important matters using data collected with the name generator in the 1985 GSS. • The stratifying variables include: • Age • Education • Race/ethnicity • Religion • Sex
Homophily and heterophily patterns in the name-generated network data (2) • His main conclusions are: • Discussion relations are most constrained by race/ethnicity, and least by sex and education; • Inbreeding effects are present for all five stratifying variables, and account for virtually all structure in dyads classified by race/ethnicity and religion; and • Appreciable social distance biases in the formation of these strong ties are found for age and education, but not for other stratifying variables.
Homophily and heterophily patterns in the name-generated network data (3) • Smith-Lovin et al. (2007) replicated the name generator questions in the 2004 GSS. • 1985 2004? • They found that: • (1) racial homophily is still the most salient dimension among these five statuses and has remained relatively constant over the two decades; • (2) the tendencies of homophily over other statuses increase, with the exception of sex.
Homophily and heterophily patterns in the position-generated network data (1) • To date, no studies have directly examined the patterns of homophily and heterophily using position-generated network data. • Studying network data from the position generator can yield fruitful results. • The differences between the name-generator and the position generator.
The two techniques • The name generator technique: • Stronger ties, stronger role relations, or geographically limited ties (Campbell & Lee 1991) • Consisting mostly of the homophilous ties (friends and relatives) • Core network • The position generator technique: • A more diverse social ties in terms of tie strength, role relations, and number of ties • Composed of both homophilous (friends and relatives) and heterophilous ties (friends of friends, acquaintances) • Extended network
Homophily and heterophily patterns in the position-generated network data (2) • This study tries to follow the methods used in Marsden (1988) to model the patterns of homophily and heterophily using the position-generated network data in SC-USA 2004-5. • Two types of special ties: • (1) very close ties • (2) non-kin ties
Methods—design effects • As Marsden (1988) mentioned in his study, respondent-alter pairs are cluster sampled within respondents, therefore, there may be a design effect due to the clustering. • It is important to examine the effect of survey design on the distribution of X2 and propose simple adjustments of this statistic. • Holt et al. (1980) propose a one moment adjustment of the X2 : a weighted sum of cell design effects.
Conclusions • The inbreeding bias exists in all of the three statuses, although the extent varies. • Compared with core discussion networks, the results show that in the extended networks, the degree of racial/ethnic homophily is still tremendously strong. • It helps explain why a certain racial/ethnic group (Latinos) is disadvantaged in the access to social capital and the eventual utility of social capital in status attainment.