Disentangling Cultural Homophily from Confounding Mechanisms

Master's Thesis

Abstract

A high level of clustering distinguishes social networks from other types of networks. Homophily, or the tendency for similar individuals to befriend each other, is commonly purported to generate this phenomenon. While much extant research on homophily emphasizes factors that structurally induce similarity among individuals, less work has investigated how cultural tastes result in individuals preferentially selecting homogeneous alters and how best to approach this methodologically. Using novel data, this study employs statistical network analyses to infer how music tastes produce different structures within an emerging social network by influencing the number and similarity of friends that a person has. I find music tastes vary in the extent to which they produce homophily but that, in order to uncover these dynamics, one must account for the number of people with whom an individual interacts. I conclude with a theoretical discussion of the findings and suggest future research directions.

Attributes

Attribute NameValues
URN
  • etd-12082014-162432

Author Brandon R. Sepulvado
Advisor Omar Lizardo
Contributor David Hachen, Committee Member
Contributor David Gibson, Committee Member
Contributor Omar Lizardo, Committee Chair
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Sociology
Degree Name MA
Defense Date
  • 2014-05-27

Submission Date 2014-12-08
Country
  • United States of America

Subject
  • culture

  • music taste

  • social networks

  • homophily

Publisher
  • University of Notre Dame

Language
  • English

Record Visibility and Access Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units

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