Race, ethnicity and the strength of Facebook ties

Gustavo S. Mesch

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This study investigates the role of race and ethnicity in the self-reported strength of the social ties of young adolescents on Facebook. Based on the social diversification hypothesis, which argues that in multicultural societies, race and ethnicity are key factors that shape the nature of associations, we examine whether there are ethnic and racial differences in the size and strength of the ties of adolescent Facebook users and the role of the strength of these ties in several positive outcomes. Using data from the U.S. Teens’ Social Media and Privacy Survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life project among 802 teens ages 12–17, we found no differences in the total number of ties that adolescents from different ethnic and racial groups reported. However, African Americans reported significantly higher number of weak ties, while White Americans had a significantly higher number of strong ties. The results are consistent with the social diversification hypothesis. The implications of the findings are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)575-589
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Youth Studies
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - 28 May 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


    • Youth culture
    • consumption
    • ethnicity
    • exclusion
    • media

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • General Social Sciences
    • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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