Health, Grades and Friendship: How Socially Constructed Characteristics Influence the Social Network Structure

  • Sofia DokukaEmail author
  • Ekaterina Krekhovets
  • Margarita Priymak
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10716)


Homophily - tendency for people to form social connections with similar others - is one of the key topics in social network analysis. It indicates to what extent people tend to be similar to their friends and in what dimensions. For the long time homophily was just an index of the social similarity, but for the recent years the interest for the homophily formation, dynamics and multidimensionality increased. In this paper we investigate the homophily in such social constructed behavior as food consumption and academic achievements. The study of body mass index in social network context reveals the presence of homophily, which means that persons with similar constitution are more likely to be interconnected with each other. Interestingly, that healthy food consumption has no impact on social network formation, but there is homophily based on fast food consumption. Thus, ‘bad habits’ are stronger forces for the social ties formation. This results show that social constructed behavior is an important component on the process of social network formation.


Social networks Homophily Student networks Health Food consumption Academic achievements Higher education 



We would like to thank Maria Yudkevich for help and discussion. The financial support of the 5-100 Government Program and Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) is greatly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofia Dokuka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ekaterina Krekhovets
    • 1
  • Margarita Priymak
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Institutional StudiesNRU HSEMoscowRussia

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