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Changes in personal relationships: How social contexts affect the emergence and discontinuation of relationships
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. University of Utrecht, Netherlands.
2014 (English)In: Social Networks, ISSN 0378-8733, Vol. 37, 65-80 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although the average number of confidants and practical helpers in Dutch networks only slightly changes over seven years, we found considerable changes among these relationships over these years. To explain the stability of existing relationships as well as the emergence of new ones, we paid attention to meeting opportunities in specific social contexts, such as the work place, family, sports clubs, voluntary associations, and the neighborhood. Notably, we found that a lack of meeting opportunities is an important reason why many personal relationships are discontinued, and that a path-dependent use of social contexts makes new relationships more likely to emerge in a specific context if existing network members are already met in that context. Finally, it is proposed that care should be taken when interpreting changes in personal networks if one relies on information about networks that are delineated using only one name generating question.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 37, 65-80 p.
Keyword [en]
Personal relationships, Social contexts, Network changes, Meeting opportunities, Path-dependency
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-103265DOI: 10.1016/j.socnet.2013.12.003ISI: 000334001400006OAI: diva2:719274


Available from: 2014-05-23 Created: 2014-05-12 Last updated: 2014-05-23Bibliographically approved

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Mollenhorst, Gerald
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