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Cross-Category Friendships

Friendships are widely believed to be organized around the principle of homophily—the idea that relationships form between individuals who are similar. Under this principle, individuals are most likely to form friendships with others who are similar to themselves in terms of age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, or identity. Friendships between individuals with different social identities are considered cross-category friendships. By definition, cross-category friendships form across social identities in which one identity is privileged and the other disadvantaged. Thus, in order to maintain cross-category friendships, friends are required to negotiate their own identities across social inequalities. Cross-category friendships are considered the exception rather than the rule in the general population. Within minority communities, however, cross-category friendships are more common.

Friendships are understood as unique interpersonal relationships ...

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