Socialization Networks and the Transmission of Interethnic Attitudes
33 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2012
Date Written: March 5, 2012
This paper studies the dynamics of interethnic attitudes, focusing on the role played by the network of social influences, to which agents are exposed. A cultural evolution framework is introduced, where attitudes are modeled as continuous cultural traits transmitted intergenerationally. Oblique (out of family) socialization is modeled as a network of influences, which are represented by a row stochastic matrix. Properties of the dynamics are also examined. The main result states that any time independent oblique socialization matrix ensures convergence. In particular, I find that while the vertical (parental) socialization has the role of ensuring convergence without influencing the kind of steady state reached, the structure of the oblique socialization matrix does not affect convergence properties. However, it determines the class of the steady state, which is observed at the end of the dynamic. Specific oblique socialization mechanisms and steady states relevant for interethnic issues are then introduced showing how this model links them together. A method to potentially link any oblique socialization mechanism to a consequential steady state class is then proposed. Finally, data from the US are considered to show how it is possible to infer properties of the oblique socialization network.
Keywords: cultural transmission, socialization, cultural evolution, ethnic integration
JEL Classification: D10, J15, Z1
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