Picking and Choosing, Accepting and Changing: The Effects of Selection and Harmonization on Network Structure and Content
AuthorBrashears, Matthew Edward
Committee ChairMcPherson, Miller
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractHomophily, the tendency for like to associate with like or for birds of a feather to flock together, is one of the most robust findings in all of social science. Despite its ubiquity and obvious importance, however, it is uncertain how much of this regularity derives from the tendency to become friends with those like ourselves (i.e. selection) as opposed to the tendency to become like those with whom we associate (i.e. harmonization). This dissertation grapples with the issue by proposing, first, that both forces play a role and, second, that the impact of one cannot be understood without also considering the effect of the other. After a review of the literature, theory is developed, data introduced, analytical techniques described, and then empirical analysis is undertaken. It is determined that several of the predicted combinations of selection and harmonization are, indeed, present and that these combinations can meaningfully inform our understanding of social life. Directions for future research are then discussed.