Fernando Aguiar, researcher of the Institute of Advanced Social Studies (Spanish National Research Council) and Antonio Parravano, researcher of the Centro de Física Fundamental (Universidad de Los Andes) have written this article published in the last issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution.

In this work called Tolerating the Intolerant: Homophily, Intolerance, and Segregation in Social Balanced Networks, authors «model a community of individuals whose relationships are governed by the rules of the so-called Heider balance theory». Nevertheless, they modify the mentioned theory to address the impact of tolerating intolerant individuals. As they explain, «to consider tolerance toward a different group, the elements are assigned one of the two flags, A or B, and the elements of each group can be tolerant or intolerant. Two additional parameters, p and q, respectively, characterize the propensity of elements to cooperate and the propensity of tolerants to reject intolerant attitudes». According to the authors, among their findings the following facts can be highlighted:

– the propensity of tolerant to reject intolerant attitudes does not affect the degree of conflict at the micro level, but has an important influence on the degree of conflict in the whole system;
– segregation into two cliques occurs whenever there exists intolerants in both groups;
– when intolerants are present in only one of the groups, segregation can be avoided for appropriate combinations of parameters p and q that depend on the fraction of intolerants and the size of the groups;
– as the size of the system increases, two balanced solutions dominate: segregation into two cliques or the isolation of intolerants; and
– endemic partially balanced configurations are observed in large systems.

You can find here more information about this article.

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