Negative ties in schools
Title: Negative ties in schools
SNIC Project: SNIC 2019/3-318
Project Type: SNIC Medium Compute
Principal Investigator: Károly Takács <>
Affiliation: Linköpings universitet
Duration: 2019-05-31 – 2020-06-01
Classification: 50401


Negative ties, such as hate or relational aggression contribute to serious problems in a variety of social contexts. They ruin cooperation, decrease performance, induce intergroup conflict, and hamper cohesion. It is therefore surprising that in the boosting literature on networks, ties have been thought mainly in positive terms. The proposed research aims to correct for this asymmetry and attempts to discover the true nature and mechanisms of negative relations. Our major hypothesis is that most negative ties form as they are tools and also unavoidable consequences of competition. Competition for limited resources that are acquired in social processes such as popularity, social status, and power creates strategic alliances and counter-alliances, and it could induce envy, anger, and frustration. All these forms of negativity go beyond the scope of dyadic rivalry, as it is witnessed, facilitated, and sometimes appreciated or mediated by relevant others. Hence, these processes are embedded in the network structure and the dynamics of positive and negative relations are intertwined with competition. For the developed analytical framework we propose multiple empirical tests in different schools. We analyze network data we gathered in a longitudinal study in primary school classes to test our specific hypotheses regarding the impact of negative ties and status competition on ethnic segregation of friendship. We use RSiena Bayes that requires high computational complexity to estimate our models.