This is for my Social Psychology class - for assessment and communication. I hope you find my thoughts interesting and please feel free to comment!

Friday, September 21, 2007

More on blog 2 topic - Homophily

According to an abstract of an article by McPherson, Smith-Lovin and ­Cook­, "the homophily principle—structures network ties of every type, including marriage, friendship, work, advice, support, information transfer, exchange, comembership, and other types of relationship" (2001), abstract). I feel that the concept of homophily opposes some common sayings such as "opposites attract" or "chalk and cheese." Many people would have heard the saying "birds of a feather flock together" and this saying complements the theory of homophily well. In relation to my personal relationships I feel that although I usually form close bonds/relationships with people similar to me I can also see relationships within my life where we are completely different. This will be an interesting area for me to discuss within my second blog and I am excited about researching more into this topic.

I would like to hear anyone's thoughts surrounding this concept and personal relationships. Do you think that your relationships reflect similarities to yourself or do you think that you look for differences? Also do you think this occurs naturally or are you conscious of your preferences?


McPherson, M., Smith-Lovin, L., & J. M. ­Cook­. (2001). Birds of a feather: homophily in social networks. Annual Review of Sociology, 27, 415 - 444. Retrieved from


Clare said...

Hello Zoe,
I have to say that I definitely have relationships/friendships with people similar to myself. Although there are exceptions, I think I also have closer relationships with those most similar to me. This could be because I get along better with people who share similar ideas to mine, we fight less and can talk about more thing without the fear of "stepping on each others toes". When I was at a party the other night I made an anti John Howard comment and really upset a friend of mine (and as much as I hate to admit it made us both feel very uncomfortable). So I would say yes, I do seek friends and partners similar to myself and I think I do so consciously.

Jessica said...

Hi Zoe,

I think in general, I have the closest relationships with people that are similar to me. Having said that, I don't consciously seek out friendships or relationships with people who are similar to me, I think it happens on more of a natural basis. When I met my best friend in high school, we just clicked. We had similar senses of humour, interests and generally got on really well. However, we are also quite different at the same time, coming from different racial and cultural backgrounds. I think I form relationships with people who make me feel comfortable enough to be myself and who I can have a good time with, and this can be someone similar to me, or my complete opposite. Good luck with your second blog :)

Erin said...

Hi Zoe,

I actually had no idea what homophily was until you chose your blog topic. I think this is an excellent topic for you to research (or anyone for that matter) because it may reveal info about ourselves we did not yet know and may also allow us to identify why we make mistakes sometimes with the people we choose to have a friendship or relationship with. Should be an interesting topic Zoe!