This article can be found in the current issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs regarding Cities, Networks, and Urban Policy.
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The same place but different: How neighborhood context differentially affects homogeneity in networks of different social groups, by Marina Tulin, Beate Volker & Bram Lancee
In this paper, we explore how the neighborhood composition and individual choice relate to the network composition of different social groups. We predict that groups that engage more with the neighborhood, and those who control more resources have networks that are more homogenous than expected given the neighborhood composition. We also explore how two types of biased association (i.e., attraction to similarity and rejection of dissimilarity) vary by neighborhood composition. Analyzing neighborhood register data and the Survey of the Social Networks of the Dutch (2014), we find that networks of neighbors vary in their degree of homogeneity depending on the social group. Both groups that control more resources, and those who engaged more with the neighborhood had networks that were more homogeneous than expected given the neighborhood composition. Individual choice (i.e., attraction to similarity and rejection of dissimilarity) varied depending on both the neighborhood composition and group membership. Our findings show that neighborhood mixing with the aim to create intergroup ties might be effective for certain groups (i.e., middle aged, married), but it might backfire for others (i.e., retired individuals). Urban policies might be more effective when tailored to the needs of different social groups.