Divided We Stand: The Role of Homophily in the Malleability of Social Networks
- The influence of the structure of a society on the dynamics of coordination is a rich area of investigation. This structure, encoded by multitudes of influence networks and by the distribution of individual characteristics across these networks, constrains the degree of coordination in social activity. In this study, we explore the influence of homophily--the enhanced association between similar individuals--on the malleability of outcomes of social dynamics. In public discourse, the implicit assumption is that homophily has a negative effect on the flexibility or malleability of collective response to social challenges. In our model, we find the counterintuitive result that intermingling can enable one influential homogeneous subgroup to subordinate the response of another, negatively influencing overall malleability. The manner of the departure from perfect homophily ends up characterizing the exact nature of this reduction.
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- Sengupta, Sikata and Jackson, Matthew. (2021). Divided We Stand: The Role of Homophily in the Malleability of Social Networks. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at: https://purl.stanford.edu/tc454jm3013
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