Where Do Networks Come From?

The social composition of contexts wherein people find themselves affects the opportunities to meet particular others and engage in contact with them, and thereby the structure and the composition of a person’s network. In this project, it has been shown that social contexts, places where people meet each other – such as work, school, neighborhood, but also family, going out places or the internet – matter for the resulting relationship. First of all, different important network relationships have been met at particular places: Meeting in educational contexts, voluntary organizations and the church is most ‘productive’ in creating friendship. Second, there seems to be a ‘path-dependency in friendships: if one has met a network member in a particular setting chances are high that another one is also met there at a later point in time.