Lars Leszczensky, Philipp Jugert, Sebastian Pink
The Interplay of Group Identifications and Friendships: Evidence from Longitudinal Social Network Studies

Journal of Social Issues, 2019: 75, Heft 2, S. 460-485
ISSN: 0022-4537 (print); 1540-4560 (online)

This article reviews empirical evidence on the reciprocal relation of ethnic minority group members’ national, ethnic, and dual identification on the one hand and their friendships with both minority and majority group members on the other. Emphasis is given to studies that apply longitudinal social network analysis in order to draw inferences about how these group identifications shape social relations and/or how social relations in turn shape individuals’ group identifications. After outlining theoretical mechanisms and showing the advantages of a social network approach, the article summarizes findings on how ethnic, national, and dual identification affect individual preferences for having same ethnic or interethnic friends. Evidence on how friends in turn influence group identifications is also reviewed. The article closes by discussing practical implications of the existing evidence and by pointing to open questions and next steps for further research on the nexus of group identifications and friendship.