Tag Archives | Networks

Making Friends in Violent Neighborhoods: Strategies among Elementary School Children

Anjanette M. Chan Tack, Mario L. Small

Sociological Science, March 15, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a10



While many studies have examined friendship formation among children in conventional contexts, comparatively fewer have examined how the process is shaped by neighborhood violence. The literature on violence and gangs has identified coping strategies that likely affect friendships, but most children in violent neighborhoods are not gang members, and not all friendship relations involve gangs. We examine the friendship-formation process based on in-depth interviews with 72 students, parents, and teachers in two elementary schools in violent Chicago neighborhoods. All students were African American boys and girls ages 11 to 15. We find that while conventional studies depict friendship formation among children as largely affective in nature, the process among the students we observed was, instead, primarily strategic. The children’s strategies were not singular but heterogeneous and malleable in nature. We identify and document five distinct strategies: protection seeking, avoidance, testing, cultivating questioners, and kin reliance. Girls were as affected as boys were, and they also reported additional preoccupations associated with sexual violence. We discuss implications for theories of friendship formation, violence, and neighborhood effects.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Anjanette M. Chan Tack: Department of Sociology, University of Chicago
Email: amc75@uchicago.edu

Mario L. Small: Department of Sociology, Harvard University
Email: mariosmall@fas.harvard.edu

Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the MacArthur Foundation, the University of Chicago, the National Opinion Research Center, and Harvard University. We thank Karen Davis and Lara Perez-Felkner for fieldwork, interview work, and other research assistance instrumental to this project and David Harding for comments and criticisms. Direct correspondence to Mario L. Small, 33 Kirkland St, Department of Sociology, Cambridge, MA 02138 or mariosmall@fas.harvard.edu.

  • Citation: Chan Tack, Anjanette M., and Mario L. Small. 2017. “Making Friends in Violent Neighborhoods: Strategies among Elementary School Children.” Sociological Science 4: 224-248.
  • Received: January 12, 2017
  • Accepted: February 8, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper B. Sørensen, Gabriel Rossman
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a10

Consensus, Polarization, and Alignment in the Economics Profession

Tod S. Van Gunten, John Levi Martin, Misha Teplitskiy

Sociological Science, December 5, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a45



Scholars interested in the political influence of the economics profession debate whether the discipline is unified by policy consensus or divided among competing schools or factions. We address this question by reanalyzing a unique recent survey of elite economists. We present a theoretical framework based on a formal sociological approach to the structure of belief systems and propose alignment, rather than consensus or polarization, as a model for the structure of belief in the economics profession. Moreover, we argue that social clustering in a heterogeneous network topology is a better model for disciplinary social structure than discrete factionalization. Results show that there is a robust latent ideological dimension related to economists’ departmental affiliations and political partisanship. Furthermore, we show that economists closer to one another in informal social networks also share more similar ideologies.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Tod S. Van Gunten: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
Email: tvg@mpifg.de

John Levi Martin: Department of Sociology, University of Chicago
Email: jlmartin@uchicago.edu

Misha Teplitskiy: Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University
Email: mteplitskiy@fas.harvard.edu

Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank Anil Kashyap, Brian Barry, and the Initiative on Global Markets at the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago for providing data access.

  • Citation: Van Gunten, Tod S., John Levi Martin, and Misha Teplitskiy. 2016. “Consensus, Polarization, and Alignment in the Economics Profession.” Sociological Science 3: 1028-1052.
  • Received: October 8, 2016
  • Accepted: October 26, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Gabriel Rossman
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a45

The Strength of Weak Ties in MBA Job Search: A Within–Person Test

Jason Greenberg, Roberto M. Fernandez

Sociological Science, May 18, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a14


Whether and how social ties create value has inspired substantial research in organizational theory, sociology, and economics. Scholars generally believe that social ties impact labor market outcomes. Two explanatory mechanisms have been identified, emphasizing access to better job offers in pecuniary terms and the efficacy of non-redundant information. The evidence informing each theory, however, has been inconsistent and circumstantial. We test predictions from both models using a rich set of job search data collected from an MBA student population, including detailed information about search channels and characteristics of job offers. Importantly, we can compare offers made to the same student derived via different search channels while accounting for industry, function, and non-pecuniary characteristics. We find that contrary to conventional wisdom, search through social networks typically results in job offers with lower total compensation (-17 percent for referrals through strong ties and -16 percent for referrals via weak ties vs. formal search). However, our models also show that students are considerably more likely to accept offers derived via weak ties. They do so because they are perceived to have greater growth potential and other non-pecuniary value. On balance, our tests are consistent with Granovetter’s argument that networks provide value by facilitating access to information that is otherwise difficult to obtain, rather than providing greater pecuniary compensation.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Jason Greenberg: Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University
Email: jgreenbe@stern.nyu.edu

Roberto M. Fernandez: MIT Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: robertof@mit.edu

Acknowledgements: This paper was presented in a symposium at the annual American Sociological Association meeting honoring the fortieth anniversary of Mark Granovetter’s classic Getting a Job.We thank the organizing members of that symposium (Nina Bandelj and Emilio Castilla), co-panelists, and audience members for useful feedback. Thanks are also due audiences at Michigan-ICOS and NYU, Gino Cattani, and Mark Granovetter. All the usual disclaimers apply. Please send questions or comments to Jason Greenberg (jgreenbe@stern.nyu.edu)

  • Citation: Jason Greenberg and Roberto M. Fernandez.  2016.“The Strength of Weak Ties in MBA Job Search:  A Within–Person Test.” Sociological Science 3: 296-316
  • Received: January 4, 2016
  • Accepted: January 27, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Olav Sorenson
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a14

Extending the INGO Network Country Score 1950-2008

Pamela Paxton, Melanie M. Hughes, Nicholas E. Reith

Sociological Science, May 20, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a14


Hughes et al. (2009) introduced the INGO Network Country Score (INCS), a measure of country-level connectedness to the world polity, for three years: 1978, 1988, and 1998. The measure scores countries by centrality in the world country-INGO network, rather than on raw counts of INGO ties that do not acknowledge networks or power. In this article, we extend the measure by time, space, organization, and calculation. First, we extend the measure to the period 1950âAS2008, allowing closer correspondence to the years typically assessed by researchers. Second, we extend the country samples upon which the scores are based, allowing researchers greater flexibility in choosing samples. Third, we extend the number of INGOs from which the scores are created. The Hughes et al. (2009) INCS were based on a single-year maximum of 476 INGOs; ours are based on a single-year maximum of 1,604 INGOs (5,291 INGOs across all years). Finally, we provide both raw and scaled scores, which we use to discuss the observed increasing density in the world polity from 1950 to 2008, comparing scores across regions. Results reveal higher average INCS with less variability among Western countries, and significant inequality between the West and the rest of the world.
Pamela Paxton: Department of Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin.  Email: ppaxton@prc.utexas.edu

Melanie M. Hughes: Department of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh. Email: hughesm@pitt.edu

Nicholas E. Reith: Department of Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin.  Email:nreith@utexas.edu

Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation SES-1067218 and SES-1323130.

  • Citation: Paxton, Pamela, Melanie M. Hughes, and Nicholas E. Reith. 2015. “Extending the INGO Network Country Score, 1950–2008” Sociological Science 2: 287-307.
  • Received: July 15, 2014
  • Accepted: November 26, 2014
  • Editors: Jesper Sorensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a14