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Sources of Peer Group Homogeneity

Jere M. Cohen
Sociology of Education
Vol. 50, No. 4 (Oct., 1977), pp. 227-241
DOI: 10.2307/2112497
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2112497
Page Count: 15
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Sources of Peer Group Homogeneity
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Abstract

Conformity pressures, disproportionate group-leaving by deviates, and homophilic membership selection are identified as three sources of homogeneity in student friendship groups. Forty-nine high school friendship groups are tested to determine which of these three mechanisms contributes most to their homogeneity. Homophilic selection accounted for much of the groups' homogeneity, conformity pressures made a small contribution, and group-leaving contributed nothing to homogeneity. It is suggested that the magnitude of peer influence on aspirations has been overestimated in the status-attainment literature.

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