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date: 30 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines homophily — the tendencies for people with similar characteristics to interact with one another — and how social structure gives rise to network autocorrelation more than expected, while at the same time providing a balance against dynamics inducing pure segregation. The article begins with a discussion of two distinct processes by which network autocorrelation can arise from people acting consistently with homophily, their preferences to interact with people like themselves: they can change themselves or they can change their interaction partners. It then considers the social-structural infrastructure of conformity, with particular emphasis on the focused organization of social ties and the limited segmentation of focused organization. It also introduces a model to represent the triplexity of social structure comprised of people, foci, and traits. Finally, it analyzes heterogeneity within and among an individual’s foci of activity.

Keywords: homophily, social structure, network autocorrelation, segregation, preferences, conformity, focused organization, social ties, segmentation, heterogeneity

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