Lars Leszczensky, Tobias H. Stark, Andreas Flache, Anke Munniksma
Disentangling the Relation between Young Immigrants' Host Country Identification and their Friendships with Natives

Social Networks, 2016: 44, pp. 179-189
ISSN: 0378-8733

Immigrants who strongly identify with the host country have more native friends than immigrants with weaker host country identification. However, the mechanisms underlying this correlation are not well understood. Immigrants with strong host country identification might have stronger preferences for native friends, or they might be more often chosen as friends by natives. In turn, having native friends or friends with strong host country identification might increase immigrants’ host country identification. Using longitudinal network data of 18 Dutch school classes, we test these hypotheses with stochastic actor-oriented models. We find that immigrants’ host country identification affects friendship selections of natives but not of immigrants. We find no evidence of social influence processes.