College freshmen are more likely to make friends with peers they share a dorm room or major with than they are to befriend those from similar racial backgrounds, a study on the Facebook profiles of first-year students found. A paper on the study, which will be published next week in the American Journal of Sociology, was conducted by researchers at Harvard University and the University of California at Los Angeles. They tracked the online profiles of a class of 1,640 students at an unnamed university to see how they chose their friends. ... Although sociologists have long believed students are drawn together by race, the study suggests they are much more likely to become friends with people they see more often or those who make friendly overtures. “There is a high degree of racial homogeneity in friendship networks, but a lot of it is generated by other ways in which friendships are formed,” said Andreas Wimmer, a professor of sociology at UCLA who led the study.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Friendship and Race
From The Chronicle of Higher Education What Facebook Tells Researchers about Friendship and Race