Selection processes in social networks: an empirical study of desires, moves and selection pathways in classrooms

Chris Baerveldt, Jef Vlegels, Steglich Christian

Onderzoeksoutput: Meeting abstract (Book)

Samenvatting

Friendship selection in social networks is usually investigated by studying the development of realized friendship nominations. The selection processes behind the development, including activities to acquire friendships (moves) and intentions, are often taken for granted, but rarely studied empirically. In this study we contribute to the understanding of selection processes by investigating activities ('moves') meant to develop certain friendship ties in social networks, and desires to become friends with certain network members. Based on two waves of Dutch school classroom network data (n=741 students aged 12-15 years in 27 school classes), we investigated the students' desires for friendships with specific fellow students (candidates), their attempts (moves) to become friends with candidates, and the combination of desires and moves (pathways). Most desires for a candidate were not followed by a move. Most moves were not preceded by a desire. Moves were much better predictors of the onset of new friendships than desires. Student's attributes like gender, the need for friendship, network knowledge, friendship motives and personality traits, determined which pathway was followed. However, the effect sizes differed strongly between classrooms, and often went in different directions. This suggests that individual effects on selection processes are mediated by classroom level variables. Investigating moves is probably more worthwhile than investigating desires, and might even provide for better tests of network theory than actual friendship changes. Also, while a network member apparently cannot control a large part of the selection process, she still seems to have an independent influence on the process.
Originele taal-2English
TitelXXXIII Sunbelt Social Networks Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis, Abstracts
StatusPublished - 2013
EvenementXXXIII Sunbelt Social Networks Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis - Hamburg, Germany
Duur: 21 mei 201326 mei 2013

Conference

ConferenceXXXIII Sunbelt Social Networks Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis
LandGermany
StadHamburg
Periode21/05/1326/05/13

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