Ethnic segregation of pupils between and within schools is considered a serious social problem in Hungary. School segregation has been demonstrated by decades of research and practical experience as harmful for the disadvantaged minority as it contributes to lower performance, to lower chances of entering highest education, and consequently to increasing inequality (Kemény and Havas, 1996; Havas, Kemény and Liskó 2002; Havas and Liskó 2005; Kertesi and Kézdi, 2005; Hanushek and Wössmann, 2006; Brunello and Checci, 2007, Kézdi and Surányi, 2008). It has only been recently recognized, however, that even in integrated schools friendships ties are typically highly segregated (Moody, 2001), thus integrated education does not necessarily mean integration at the level of primordial social order (Coleman, 1990). Segregation of friendships may have serious implications for the effectiveness of social programs aiming to mix students of different social or ethnic backgrounds within classes. Segregation of friendships is usually correlated with the emergence of subcultures that oppose the objectives of schools and the educational system (see e.g., Willis, 2000). If friendship ties remain segregated in integrated classrooms, disadvantaged pupils will be not influenced by mainstream role models, and integrated education may reduce differences in scholastic performance between non-roma and roma pupils to a lesser extent than expected by experts and policy-makers. The research project proposed here aims to describe and explain segregation of friendships within school classrooms. The basic postulates of our research agenda are that the problem of ethnic integration should be looked at the level of voluntary formation of friendship, negative and romantic ties; and that the problem of ethnic integration in the classroom cannot be looked at without analyzing the interrelated dynamics of social networks, status, and performance. Status competition typically intensifies the segregation of friendship ties and might also lead to the social exclusion of disadvantaged pupils, or alternatively, as another problem, to the social exclusion of the best performing students.