The Embeddedness of Adolescent Friendship Nominations: The Formation of Social Capital in Emergent Network Structures

TitleThe Embeddedness of Adolescent Friendship Nominations: The Formation of Social Capital in Emergent Network Structures
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsFrank K.A, Muller C., Mueller A.S
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Volume119
Issue1
Pagination216-253
Date PublishedJul
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0002-9602
Accession NumberWOS:000326699500007
Keywordsafrican-american, american adolescents, asian-american, exchange relations, extracurricular activities, high-school-students, interpersonal-relations, middle school, modern sociology, p-asterisk models
Abstract

Although research on social embeddedness and social capital confirms the value of friendship networks, little has been written about how social relations form and are structured by social institutions. Using data from the Adolescent Health and Academic Achievement study and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the authors show that the odds of a new friendship nomination were 1.77 times greater within clusters of high school students taking courses together than between them. The estimated effect cannot be attributed to exposure to peers in similar grade levels, indirect friendship links, or pair-level course overlap, and the finding is robust to alternative model specifications. The authors also show how tendencies associated with status hierarchy inhering in triadic friendship nominations are neutralized within the clusters. These results have implications for the production and distribution of social capital within social systems such as schools, giving the clusters social salience as local positions.

DOI10.1086/672081