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Homophily and heterophily in personal networks. From mutual acquaintance to relationship intensity

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Abstract

This article deals with the analysis of homophily and heterophily in ego-centred networks (personal networks). The analysis takes a dual approach. First it uses the classical definition of homophily (in this article called elementary homophily) to compare mutual ties between groups defined by employment status, age and city of residence. These analyses are then enriched by incorporating the level of affective proximity, thus forming what we have called specific homophily. The analysis of elementary homophily confirms the expected predominance of homophilous relationships over heterophilous ones. The analysis of specific homophily shows that inter-group relationships between close and intimate contacts follow similar patterns, whereas these differ substantially for relationships that are not at all close. The comparison of the two types of homophily shows a correspondence between high values in elementary homophily and high values in close and intimate relationships.

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Notes

  1. These data come from the project CASREDIN (comparative case study of cases on the mutual influence between capital and social inclusion and integration, stability, development and qualification in employment). See the acknowledgments section.

  2. It would be possible to extend the study to heterophilic relationships but this lies beyond the scope of this article.

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Acknowledgments

The project CASREDIN (Comparative case study on the mutual influence between social capital and social inclusion and integration, stability, promotion and qualification in employment), whose data were used in this article, was funded by the Ministry of Education and Science within the framework of the Sixth National Plan for Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation 2008–2011, with reference CSO2008-01470.

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Correspondence to Joan Miquel Verd.

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Lozares, C., Verd, J.M., Cruz, I. et al. Homophily and heterophily in personal networks. From mutual acquaintance to relationship intensity. Qual Quant 48, 2657–2670 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11135-013-9915-4

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