Too distant or too different? The competing roles of homophily and distance in tie formation for an urban environmental stewardship network.

Authors: Josh Redmond*, University of Exeter
Topics: Urban Geography, Social Geography
Keywords: social networks, environmental stewardship, network analysis, homophily
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Balcony A, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Some social networks can be observed to be both homophilous and moderated by distance simultaneously. Near partners may be preferable to far, and like partners may be preferable to different. This preference is often described as being driven by increased transaction costs for different or distant network partners. In the real world, network actors are regularly faced with the choice between near-different or distant-like partners and must choose whether distance or difference is more off putting. If a network is observed to be homophilous, and also geographically moderated or clustered, there presumably is an interaction between these two effects. At what distance does it become preferable to form a heterophilous near tie as opposed to a distant homophilous one? In urban landscapes, these relationships are of particular salience, as complex transportation infrastructure networks distort the relationship between time and space, and as heterogeneous land use patterns affect the distributions of people and resources. In this paper, an urban network of collaboration for environmental stewardship is analysed to understand the relationship between tie formation, distance, and homophily.

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