The role of gender in the co-evolution of social relations and the social self
Title: The role of gender in the co-evolution of social relations and the social self
DNr: LiU-compute-2024-15
Project Type: LiU Compute
Principal Investigator: Christian Steglich <>
Affiliation: Linköpings universitet
Duration: 2024-04-17 – 2025-05-01
Classification: 50401


The persistent gender gap in the STEM disciplines' labour market has been explained by multitudes of theories in education, sociology and economics. Without doubt, preferences for a STEM career are shaped during school years and in interaction with teachers and peers in the school context. Peers constitute social comparison groups. They also act as sources of social influence on the academic self-concept and academic ambitions of individual students. Peer networks in school are also highly gendered, i.e., there is homophily according to gender (boys befriend boys, girls befriend girls, etc.). In this project, we intend to investigate the role of gender boundaries in social comparison and social influence processes taking place in school. To this aim, longitudinal social network data sets will be analysed. By fitting stochastic actor-oriented network evolution models (Snijders, Steglich & van de Bunt, 2010, Social Networks) to a longitudinal social network data set collected in multiple school classes in Germany, we intend to empirically test hypotheses derived from social science theories. The project is directly related to the MSc thesis by Shyaina Bedi at the Institute for Analytical Sociology (IAS, at Linköping University's Norrköping campus.