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Homophily (i.e., "love of the same") is the tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others. The presence of homophily has been discovered in a vast array of network studies. More than 100 studies that have observed homophily in some form or another and they establish that similarity breeds connection. These include age, gender, class, and organizational role.
This is often expressed in the adage "birds of a feather flock together".
Individuals in homophilic relationships share common characteristics (beliefs, values, education, etc.) that make communication and relationship formation easier. Homophily often leads to homogamy—marriage between people with similar characteristics.
Types of homophily 
In their original formulation of homophily, Lazarsfeld and Merton (1954) distinguished between status homophily, which contends that individuals with similar social status characteristics are more likely to associate with each other than by chance, and value homophily, which refers to tendency to associate with others who think in similar ways, regardless of differences in status.
To test the relevance of homophily researchers have distinguished between baseline homophily and inbreeding homophily. The former is simply the amount of homophily that would be expected by chance and the second is the amount of homophily over and above this expected value.
The opposite of homophily is heterophily.
Sociologist Dhiraj Murthy in his book Twitter: Social Communication in the Twitter Age (2012) extends the topic of homophily to Twitter, exploring whether the social platform contributes to “cross-talk” by exposing users to differing worldviews or whether it reinforces existing social structures. In the chapter called “Theorizing Twitter”, he notes that while Twitter does promote the exchange of differing perspective ideas across cultures people tend to follow tweets of people similar to themselves, their thoughts and values, rather than following tweets of people dissimilar to them.
Murthy notes that while research has shown a positive correlation between homophily and information diffusion, Twitter has perhaps broken the “grip” homophily with hashtags being able to link people together.
- McPherson, M., Smith-Lovin, L., & Cook, J. M. (2001). "Birds of a Feather: Homophily in Social Networks". Annual Review of Sociology. 27:415–444.
- Retica, Aaron (10 December 2006). "Homophily". New York Times.
- Lazarsfeld, P. F. and Merton, R. K. (1954). "Friendship as a Social Process: A Substantive and Methodological Analysis". In Freedom and Control in Modern Society, Morroe Berger, Theodore Abel, and Charles H. Page, eds. New York: Van Nostrand, 18–66.
- Murthy, Dhiraj. "Twitter:Social Communication in the Twitter Age". Polity Press.
- Yuan, Y. C.; G. Gay (2006). "Homophily of Network Ties and Bonding and Bridging Social Capital in Computer-Mediated Distributed Teams". Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 11 (4).
See also 
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