Friendship and Identity in School

Research question/goal: 

This project aims to study the mechanisms underlying the formation of and changes in adolescents’ social networks and their ethnic identifications. As a first step, based on previous research, we developed and tested a measurement of ethnic identification for students aged 11–16, which is now available at ZIS (gesis). In a second step, we used this measurement in a panel-survey comprising more than 2,000 students of the 5th, 6th, and 7th grades from schools in North Rhine-Westphalia. In terms of data collection, our study has two special features. First, at the school level, we interview all students in each of the three grades. Hence, we consider the students’ networks not only at the classroom but also at the grade level. Second, so far the students were interviewed at three time points, namely in April/May 2013, in January/February 2014, and in October/November 2014. We intend to extend the study to include further time points. The collected network panel data will help us to investigate the causal interplay between social networks and ethnic identifications. Specifically, we apply stochastic, agent-based models for the co-evolution of networks and behaviour that have so far been rarely used in migration research.

Current stage: 

We completed data collection for the sixth and final wave in spring 2017 and integrated the data into the longitudinal data set. Findings from the previously collected data have been published. Further manuscripts are under review or in preparation. Currently, we are preparing the panel data set and its documentation to make it available for reuse on the GESIS data archive in late 2018.

Fact sheet

2008 to 2020
Data Sources: 
primary data collection
Geographic Space: