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ASL Homophily of Online and Face to Face Social Ties

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					A/S/L? Homophily of
  Online and Face to
    Face Social Ties

Gustavo S. Mesch & Ilan Talmud
   Department of Sociology and
Anthropology, University of Haifa
         Theoretical Postulates

 Social Relationships are embedded in social
  contexts.
 Everyday activities (learning, work, leisure) bring
  people together, and attraction is based on social
  similarity.
 Foci of activities structure opportunities and
  constrains of sociability.
 Individual decisions of relationships formation is
  nested in structured foci of activities.
          Social Homophily
 Friendship formation, development and
  maintainance is based on homophily.
 Homophily means that friendship occurs at a
  higher rate among similar individuals.
 Shared status and life experience increases
  the likelihood of tie formation and tie
  stability.
  Social Networks Online and Off-
               Line
 Social capital is all ego’s ties, and the
  resources (virtual or real) that flow through
  ego’s network.
 Internet is an integral part of contemporary
  social networks and a channel of interpersonal
  communication.
 Evidence show that adolescents are creating
  and maintaining social contacts through the
  Internet.
     Study and Research Questions

 Does Internet Activity decreases homophily?
The Study:
 Representative sample of Israeli adolescents
  (n=1000).
 Data on characteristics of ego-networks (up to 6
  friends).
 Data on attributes of respondent.
 Data on Internet activity.
                    Methods
   Network data on persons defined as friends by
    respondent.
   Respondents named 6 friends.
   Respondents asked about each alter’s age,
    gender, place of residence, how they met, main
    channel of communication, duration of
    friendship and topics of discussion.
                   Analytical Strategy
Two levels data:
1. Ego attributes and social ties
2. Alters’ attributes (from ego’s
   report)
=> Resulting ego-networks structure
   Age Similarity Measurement
 Age similarity: we subtracted ego’s average
  age from alters’ average age. Then a
  dummy variable for similarity was created : c
  1 if the age is similar and 0 if age is
  different.
 Similarity of Adolescents’ to their Friends
              According to Age
{Low Similarity for Adolescents with Access}
 0.8                              Sample
0.79
0.78
0.77
0.76
0.75                              No
0.74                              Internet
0.73
0.72                              Access
0.71
 0.7                              Internet
0.69                              Access
Age Similarity According to Place in which the
                Friend was Met
  { Low Similarity with Friends met Online}

  0.9
  0.8
  0.7
  0.6                          School
  0.5
  0.4                          Neighborhood
  0.3
                               Online
  0.2
  0.1
   0
        Findings: Age Similarity
 On average, age similarity is lower for Adolescents
  with Internet access.
 On average, age similarity is lower for adolescents
  that met friends online, in contrast with meeting at
  school and neighborhood.
 Multivariate analysis: controlling for age, gender,
  parental education, nationality, number of siblings
  and self esteem, the likelihood of having friends
  similar in age decreases for adolescents that
  met friends online.
Gender Heterogeneity        1- Σ p2
(1 indicates high     IQV=--------------
 heterogeneity)             (k-1)/k
{Highest gender heterogeneity for adolescents
with access .29 to .40}
    0.4
   0.35
                                  Sample
    0.3
   0.25
    0.2
                                  No Access
   0.15
                                  to Internet
    0.1                           Access to
   0.05                           Internet
     0
Gender heterogeneity according to place friend was
                       met
 Highest heterogeneity for friends met online {.27;
                    .32; .48)


  0.5
 0.45
  0.4
 0.35
                                      Sample
  0.3
                                      School
 0.25
                                      Neighborhood
  0.2
                                      Online
 0.15
  0.1
 0.05
    0
 Gender Heterogeneity of Social
           Network
 Heterogeneity of social network is higher for
  adolescents with Internet Access.
 Heterogeneity of social network is almost twice
  higher for friends met online in contrast to friends
  met at school.
 Multivariate Analysis: Network gender
  heterogeneity is increased by adolescents’ age,
  meeting friends online controlling for gender,
  parental education, nationality, number of siblings,
  connection to the internet, self esteem.
     Heterogeneity in Place of Residence
                       IQV
{Highest for Adolescents with Internet Access but
          differences minor(.147 to .254}

     300

     250                               Sample
     200

     150
                                       No Access to
                                       Internet
     100
                                       Access to
      50                               Internet
       0
       Heterogeneity in Place of Residence
{Highest heterogeneity for adolescents that met
friends online- but heterogeneity is still low .19,
                     .16. .31}

  350

  300

  250
                                     Sample
  200                                School
  150                                Neighborhood
  100                                Online
   50

    0
     Heterogeneity in place of
            residence
 Indication that heterogeneity is higher for
  adolescents with internet access and the
  ones that met friends online.
 Heterogeneity in terms of place of residence
  is still low for all groups (less than .31).
 Multivariate analysis confirms that age and
  internet friends are a source of
  heterogeneity in place of residence of
  friends.
                 Discussion
 Individual ties are nested in foci of activity.
 Demography, geography and technology affect
  individuals’ choices of friends and network
  heterogeneity.
 Networks of adolescents that make friends online
  are broader in age, gender and place of residence.
 Networks of online children are more
  heterogeneous according to age and place of
  residence.
 Youth are being exposed to non similar ties.
       Further Studies needed
 How heterogeneous networks affect the strength
  of ties?
 How network homophily is affected by age
  distribution of the population?
 How heterogeneous networks affect the stability of
  social ties?
 Does network heterogeneity creates diversity in
  terms of values, attitudes and tastes?
 Are youth with heterogeneous networks in danger
  of abuse?

				
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posted:5/21/2010
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