At the margins: A distinctiveness approach to the social identity and social networks of underrepresented groups

Ajay Mehra, Martin Kilduff, Daniel J. Brass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

399 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using distinctiveness theory, this research showed that the relative rarity of a group in a social context tended to promote members' use of that group as a basis for shared identity and social interaction. Relative to majority group members, racial minorities and women in a master of business administration cohort were more likely to make identity and friendship choices within-group. The marginalization of racial minorities in the friendship network resulted both from exclusionary pressures and from minority individuals' own preferences for same-race friends. By contrast, the marginalization of women resulted more from exclusionary pressures than from their preferences for woman friends.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-452
Number of pages12
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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