Friendship and Identity in School
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.
In May and June 2016, we completed the collection of the fifth wave and subsequently integrated the data into the longitudinal data structure. We are currently preparing the collection of the sixth and final wave; data collection will be completed in spring 2017. Findings based on the already available data were published. Further manuscripts are under review and in preparation.