This study explores the role socioeconomic status (SES) and race play in friendship formation and selection. I use interviews and a survey to investigate if, how, and why individuals become friends with people of similar SES. My study expands upon previous research that explains the friendship formation process and shows the prevalence of many forms of homophily, the tendency for us to befriend others who are like us. My research reveals that SES and race heavily influence friendship formation at Hamilton. However, my research also reveals how Hamilton students navigate SES differences in less common socioeconomically heterophilous friendships. Additionally, my study shows that SES heterophily is often driven by interest homophily. This information is important for schools looking to promote diverse friend groups and help students of a lower SES succeed in college.
Type of Work
Thesis - Limited Access
Department or Program
Bachelor of Arts
Date of Graduation
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Zeitler, Matthew '20, "The Economics of Friendship: How Socioeconomic Status is Involved in Friendship Formation and Selection on Campus" (2020). Hamilton Digital Commons.