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Title: Friendship based on race or race based on friendship? : the co-evoluation of friendships, negative ties and ethnic perceptions in Hungarian school classes
Author: Boda, Zsófia
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis focuses on the dynamic interplay between race and social ties. Even though in sociological studies, race is usually treated as a cause of social segregation, we argue that this is a two-way process. Our approach distinguishes between racial self-identifications and racial perceptions. In the first part of the thesis, we focus on the joint effects of these aspects on the prevalence and emergence of social ties in secondary school communities. The second part investigates social effects on racial perceptions. For the analyses, we take a social networks approach, estimating exponential random graph and stochastic actor-oriented models. First, we take a look at the state of racial segregation in friendships and negative ties within communities, and we investigate the dynamic processes that have led to the described state. We also take endogenous network mechanisms into account. We provide evidence that given an initial state of segregation, reciprocity and clustering can maintain the relative infrequency of cross-race friendships in the group, even without (additional) same-race preference. Further, we find that negative ties describe interracial segregation better than friendships: majority students tend to dislike their minority peers, but no such tendencies were found for friendships. Second, we find that minority students tend to overperceive their friends' similarity to themselves in terms of race. Moreover, there is evidence for social influence: classmates tend to accept each other's, especially their friends', opinions about their peer's race. Altogether, both empirical parts of the thesis suggest a hierarchical relationship between the majority and the minority groups: besides majority students' tendency to exclude their minority peers, those who try befriending majorities - but get rejected by them - are more likely to be perceived as minorities. There are also indications of some minority students showing outgroup preference, while others seem to compete against the majority group. This can contribute to the observed emergence of enmity between minority students.
Supervisor: Jonsson, Jan O. ; Snijders, Tom A. B. Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council ; University of Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available