Winter Colloquium 2/27/17
February 27, 2017
Professor James Moody
Department of Sociology, Duke University
The Structural Dynamics of Groups and Roles in Early Adolescent Friendship Networks
A fundamental aspect of school life rests on the collective substructures of peer networks. We examine two intersecting substructures here: peer groups defined as dense communities of close friends and role positions, defined on the pattern of ties one is embedded within, which are closely aligned with the school status structure. Combined, these two dimensions define the social field of a school for adolescents. Despite intense policy interest in “peer pressure” and theoretical interests in generalizations of fields, there is little basic descriptive information on the life-history of these key social network substructures in real-world networks, in part due to lack of available data and appropriate methods. Here, we describe the dynamics of groups and roles in dynamic data on 6 waves of peer network data in a way that lets us see the simultaneous emergence of behavior homophily and status stability.
Bio: James Moody is the Robert O. Keohane professor of sociology at Duke University. He has published extensively in the field of social networks, methods, and social theory. His work has focused theoretically on the network foundations of social cohesion and diffusion, with a particular emphasis on building tools and methods for understanding dynamic social networks. He has used network models to help understand school racial segregation, adolescent health, disease spread, economic development, and the development of scientific disciplines.