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Psychological Well-Being and Brokerage in Friendship Networks of Young Swedes

Author:
  • Gerald Mollenhorst
  • Christofer Edling
  • Jens Rydgren
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 897-917
Publication/Series: Social Indicators Research
Volume: 123
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer
Additional info: First published Online, 20 September 2014

Abstract english

All ethnic groups have norms and values according to which one is expected to behave. Immigrants in particular have personal networks that simultaneously consist of co-ethnics and friends of a different ethnic background. As a consequence, they may be accustomed to the behavior, norms, and values of their own ethnic group, and also be expected to behave according to those of another ethnic group. This may either lead to ego-gratification and the strengthening and enrichment of their personality, or to feelings of stress and non-acceptance if they cannot behave fully in accordance with the expectations of their friends. This study addresses the association between interethnic open triads in networks (i.e., brokerage) and individual psychological well-being. That is, we examine whether having intra-ethnic and interethnic relationships with friends who are not also friends with each other, is either positively or negatively associated with psychological well-being. Using (network) data from a large sample (N = 2,942; age = 19) of native Swedes and first- and second-generation immigrants from former Yugoslavia and Iran (all born in 1990 and currently living in Sweden), we show that interethnic brokerage is negatively associated with psychological well-being, which implies that the different norms, values and corresponding behaviors that prevail in different ethnic groups to which the ethnic broker is connected may result in internal and external conflicts, to feelings that one is not fully accepted by any of these groups, and ultimately to a lower level of psychological well-being.

Keywords

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • interethnic relationships
  • brokerage
  • psychological well-being
  • triads
  • friendships
  • personal networks
  • sociology
  • sociologi

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 0303-8300
Christofer Edling
E-mail: christofer [dot] edling [at] soc [dot] lu [dot] se

Dean

Faculty of Social Sciences

+46 46 222 88 62

35

Professor

Centre for Economic Demography

10

Professor

Sociology

+46 46 222 88 62

333

31

Background

I earned my PhD from Stockholm University in 1999. Between 2002 and 2005 I was Torgny Segerstedt Pro Futura Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study at Uppsala University. I received my Docent-title in 2003, and was appointed Associate Professor at Stockholm University in 2004. From 2006 to 2008 I was Head of the Department of Sociology at Stockholm university. Before coming to Lund in 2012 I served as Full Professor of Sociology at Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany. I have been a fellow at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2004/05) and Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (2013).

Department of Sociology
Lund University
Visiting address: Sandgatan 11, House G, Lund
Postal address: Box 114 , SE-221 00 LUND, SWEDEN
Telephone: Student Office +46 46-222 88 44, Lund University Switchboard +46 46-222 00 00

Faculty of Social Sciences