The Homogeneity Of Social Networks

The homogeneity of social networks is one of the most striking regularities of group life (1–4). Across countless social settings—from high school to college, the workplace to the Internet (5–8)—and with respect to a wide variety of personal attributes—from drug use to religious beliefs, political orientation to tastes in music (1, 6, 9, 10)—friends tend to be much more similar than chance alone would predict.


1. Marsden PV (1988) Homogeneity in confiding relations. Soc Networks 10:57–76 [...]

2. Blau PM, Schwartz JE (1984) Crosscutting Social Circles: Testing a Macrostructural Theory of Intergroup Relations (Academic, Orlando, FL).

3. Fischer CS (1982) To Dwell Among Friends: Personal Networks in Town and City (Univ of Chicago Press, Chicago).

4. Ennett ST, Bauman KE (1994) The contribution of influence and selection to adolescent peer group homogeneity: The case of adolescent cigarette smoking. J Pers Soc Psychol 67:653–663 [...]

5. Lewis K, Kaufman J, Gonzalez M, Wimmer A, Christakis N (2008) Tastes, ties, and time: A new social network dataset using Facebook.com. Soc Networks 30:330–342. [...]

6. Kandel DB (1978) Homophily, selection, and socialization in adolescent friendships. Am J Sociol 84:427–436. [...]

7. Kossinets G, Watts DJ (2006) Empirical analysis of an evolving social network. Science 311(5757):88–90. [...]

8. Ibarra H (1992) Homophily and differential returns: Sex differences in network structure and access in an advertising firm. Adm Sci Q 37:422–447. [...]

9. Mark N (1998) Birds of a feather sing together. iSoc Forces 77:453–485. [...]

10. Knoke D (1990) Networks of political action: Toward theory construction. Soc Forces 68:1041–1063. [...]

-- Kevin Lewis , Marco Gonzalez , Jason Kaufman

from "Social selection and peer influence in an online social network"

Quoted on Wed Aug 15th, 2012