Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Sociology


Witte, James


This paper examines the characteristics of online social networks. The researcher collected the data used in the study between January 3, 2007 and January 10, 2007. 150 networks were collected from, an online social networking site, along with six features from the profiles of those in the networks--race/ethnicity, education, religion, reasons for joining, profile background, and music. Two regression models were used to determine the effects of homophily on network density and network embeddedness.
The regression models show that homophily for race/ethnicity, religion, music, and reasons for joining did not significantly affect network embeddedness or network density. Background and education homophily were the only significant variables in the models. These results support current research that suggests individuals are becoming friends online for very different reasons than in face-to-face contexts.