China Colloquium

"Friendship Formation in Chinese Middle Schools: Patterns of Inequality and Segregation," Weihua An, Sociology, Emory University

Time: April 26, 1:30pm-2:30pm

Location: 201, Modern Languages Building 201, 532 Kilgo Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322

Free and open to the public

Social capital embedded in friendship networks can convey various benefits, such as heightened social support, elevated social esteem, and more opportunities to practice leadership skills. Previous studies have offered four major perspectives to understand friendship formation that emphasize the roles played by individual characteristics, structural opportunities, endogenous processes, and ecological moderation. In this study, I combine these factors into one framework and apply it to studying friendship formation in Chinese middle schools. As socioeconomic inequality increases rapidly in China, this study helps document how socioeconomic inequality is manifested in adolescent friendship networks and is also potentially reinforced by these networks. This study also helps provide a comparative lens through which one may obtain more insights into the patterns of adolescent friendship formation in other countries.

About the speaker

Dr. Weihua An is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Quantitative Theory and Methods at Emory University. He is also a faculty member of the East Asian Studies program and Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at Emory. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology and a Master's degree in Statistics from Harvard. Drawing on unique experimental, textual, and survey data, his research advances methods for network analysis and causal analysis and uses them to answer important questions in economic sociology, medical sociology, and organizations. He is a recipient of the Clifford Clogg Award from the American Sociological Association for his research in methodology and the Faculty Teaching Award from the Department of Sociology, Emory University.