"Birds of a Feather": Homophilous Networks of Graduate Fellows across Academic Disciplines and Cultural Backgrounds


  • Mathew Senga Lecturer, University of Dar es Salaam
  • Herieth Rwezaura Lecturer, University of Dar es Salaam


Sharing homophily in cultural background (nationalities) and academic disciplines may be said to grant a base for actors to closely interact, share information, advise, support, trust, and collaborate among themselves. However, this might not necessarily restrict forming ties along these lines with other actors from other nationalities and academic disciplines, as far as they work in the same academic environment. Using social network analysis, this paper examines homophilous networks (associating and bonding with similar others) and formation of ties across nationalities and academic disciplines among graduate fellows in Global Human Development PhD programme. The fndings demonstrate existence of strong ties across nationalities and academic disciplines among actors in homophilous networks. This suggests persistence of other attributes necessary for the formation of ties and networks in addition to homophily in nationalities and academic disciplines. The paper urges for a need to undertake a broader study of this nature to encompass more attributes of the patterns of the relations between actors of the studied group or any other similar group.

Keywords: Homophily, social networks, ties, information, advice, support, trust


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