Homophily of social ties

“I always learn something when I teach my networks class. One of the early exercises that I have students do is a personal network self evaluation (adapted from Baker’s book on social capital). The students’ networks tend to be highly educated, very international, ages 25-30. Essentially, the networks of students tend to look a lot like themselves. What is notable (I base this on the last 3 years of doing this exercise) is where the networks look most different from the students, which is, more often than not, in ties to family members. Family ties are somewhat less likely to be highly educated, and when they are, it is often in a different domain than that of the other people in the students’ network, and, unsurprisingly, they are often (literally) of a different generation.” More.

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