IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Local Convergence and Global Diversity: From Interpersonal to Social Influence

  • Andreas Flache


    (Department of Sociology ICS, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands)

  • Michael W. Macy

    (Department of Sociology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA)

Registered author(s):

    How can minority cultures resist assimilation into a global monolith in an increasingly "small world"? Paradoxically, Axel rod found that local convergence can actually preserve global diversity if cultural influence is combined with homophily, the principle that "likes attract." However, follow-up studies showed that this diversity collapses under random cultural perturbation. The authors discovered a new source of this fragility-the assumption in Axelrod's model that cultural influence is interpersonal (dyadic). The authors replicated previous models but with the more empirically plausible assumption that influence is social-people can be simultaneously influenced by several network neighbors. Computational experiments show that cultural diversity then becomes much more robust than in Axelrod's original model or in published variations that included either social influence or homophily but not both. The authors conclude that global diversity may be sustained not by cultural experimentation and innovation but by the ability of cultural groups to discourage those activities.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by Peace Science Society (International) in its journal Journal of Conflict Resolution.

    Volume (Year): 55 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 6 (December)
    Pages: 970-955

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:55:y:2011:i:6:p:970-955
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:55:y:2011:i:6:p:970-955. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.