Homophily and diversity: the use and effects of bonding versus bridging networks by Townsville Aboriginal activists
Petray, Theresa L. (2008) Homophily and diversity: the use and effects of bonding versus bridging networks by Townsville Aboriginal activists. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association 2008: re-imagining sociology. Annual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association 2008: re-imagining sociology , 2-5 December 2008, University of Melbourne, VIC, Australia , pp. 1-15.
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The principle of homophily states that people who share certain characteristics will interact more often and more closely than those who are dissimilar. In general, homophily is found to have a strong influence on the organisation of social networks. The categories which lead most directly to strong homophily are race and ethnicity. Many activist movements have been found to tend towards homophily, which can have profound limiting effects on their impacts and successes.
This paper will examine the extent of homophily and networking within Aboriginal activism in Townsville, QLD. It will focus specifically on the daily demonstrations that were held outside the trial of Senior-Sergeant Chris Hurley. At this trial I acted as a participant-observer, attending daily and helping with organisation. What I witnessed was a concerted effort to avoid homophily. Personal invitations were extended by activists to non-Aboriginal academics, feminists, religious organisations, and even the police. This very deliberate attempt to diversify the demonstrations outside the courthouse happened at the expense of homophilic ties. While this has positive effects such as a broadening of support bases, a certain level of homophily is important for the creation of collective identity. What is needed is a balance between homogeneity and diversity.
|Item Type:||Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)|
|Keywords:||Aboriginal, activist movements, networking, homophily, diversity|
|FoR Codes:||16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160805 Social Change @ 50%|
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160199 Anthropology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
|SEO Codes:||97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%|
|Deposited On:||25 Oct 2011 14:45|
|Last Modified:||03 May 2013 18:03|
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