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Neighborhood and Friendship Composition in Adolescence

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  • Edling, Christofer

    ()
    (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)

  • Rydgren, Jens

    ()
    (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)

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    Abstract

    The social surroundings in which the individual grows up and spends her everyday life have an effect on her life chances. Much of the research into this phenomenon focuses on so called neighborhood effects and has put particular emphasis on the negative effects of growing up in a poor neighborhood. Originating from the sociological study of inner city problems in the United States, the research question has recently been embraced by Scandinavian social scientists, who assess the phenomenon with reference to social network effects and the lock-in effects of ethnic enclaves. We critique the theoretical assumptions that we find in recent Scandinavian research, and argue that a straightforward interpretation of neighborhood effects in terms of network effects is problematic. Our argument is based on an empirical analysis of friendship circles of ninth-graders in Stockholm (n=240). We conclude that the friendship networks of ninth-graders extend well beyond the neighborhood, thus casting serious doubt on the network effects assumption of previous research. We also conclude that there is nothing in the reality of these ninth-graders that confirms the established concept of ethnic enclave.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS in its series SULCIS Working Papers with number 2010:13.

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    Length: 28 pages
    Date of creation: 29 Nov 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:sulcis:2010_013

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    Postal: Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS, Stockholm University, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden
    Web page: http://www.su.se/sulcis
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    Keywords: social interaction; friendship; adolescence; ethnicity; neighborhood;

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