Social networks are critical to understanding diffusion of behaviors and distribution of outcomes in society. Because individuals often select their social ties based on similarity in attributes (homophily) and because different attributes tend to be correlated (consolidation), network diffusion can amplify existing differences in behaviors and outcomes across groups. To study network-driven inequality, existing work focuses mainly on the mechanisms of network formation (such as homophily), but overlooks mechanisms underlying network effects. In this chapter, we overview alternative typologies of network-effect mechanisms. We argue that differentiating between these mechanisms is important for understanding their impact on network-based differences and to design interventions to ameliorate inequality.
|Title of host publication
|Research Handbook on Analytical Sociology
|Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
|Number of pages
|Published - Jan 1 2021
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Social Sciences