You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Why Your Friends Have More Friends Than You Do
Scott L. Feld
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 96, No. 6 (May, 1991), pp. 1464-1477
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2781907
Page Count: 14
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Friendship, Class size, Paradoxes, Adolescents, College students, High schools, Social networking, Galaxies, Maximum value, Wheels
Were these topics helpful?See something inaccurate? Let us know!
Select the topics that are inaccurate.
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
It is reasonable to suppose that individuals use the number of firends that their friends have as one basis for determining whether they, themselves, have an adequate number of friends. This article shows that, if individuals compare themselves with their friends, it is likely that most of them will feel relatively inadequate. Data on friendship drawn from James Coleman's (1961) classic study The Adolescent Society are used to illustratite the phenomenon that most people have fewer friends have. The logic underlying the phenomenon is mathematically explored, showing that the mean number of friends of friends is always greater than the mean number of friends of individuals. Further analysis shows that the proportion of individuals who have fewer friends than the mean number of friends their own friends have is affected by the exact arrangement fo friendships in a social network. This disproportionate experiencing of friends with many friends is related to a set of abstractly similar "class size paradoxes" that includes such diverse phenomena as the tendencies for college students to experience the mean class size as larger than it actually is and for people to experience beaches and parks as more crowded than they usually are.
American Journal of Sociology © 1991 The University of Chicago Press