The impact of social context on interaction patterns

Cynthia M. Webster, Linton Freeman, Christa Aufdemberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the degree to which the constraints imposed by various social contexts influence social interaction. We draw on two data sets. In each, we compare the patterning of interaction of the same individuals across different contexts. If minimal constraints are imposed, then the interaction patterns among the individuals in the two contexts should be similar. But if one of the contexts involves major constraints, then interaction patterns in the two should differ. The results suggest further that the constraints found in any context are not unlimited in their impact. Moreover, individuals who can, apparently do manipulate the context to minimize the constraint imposed by the context.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Social Structure
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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