Social Capital: Theory and Research
Nan Lin, Karen S. Cook, Ronald S. Burt
Transaction Publishers - Social Science - 333 pages
Leading scholars in the field of social networks from diverse disciplines present the first systematic and comprehensive collection of current theories and empirical research on the informal connections that individuals have for support, help, and information from other people. Expanding on concepts originally formulated by Pierre Bourdieu and James Coleman, this seminal work will find an essential place with educators and students in the fields of social networks, rational choice theory, institutions, and the socioeconomics of poverty, labor markets, social psychology, and race.
The volume is divided into three parts. The first segment clarifies social capital as a concept and explores its theoretical and operational bases. Additional segments provide brief accounts that place the development of social capital in the context of the family of capital theorists, and identify some critical but controversial perspectives and statements regarding social capital in the literature. The editors then make the argument for the network perspective, why and how such a perspective can clarify controversies and advance our understanding of a whole range of instrumental and expressive outcomes.
Social Capital further provides a forum for ongoing research programs initiated by social scientists working at the crossroads of formal theory and new methods. These scholars and programs share certain understandings and approaches in their analyses of social capital. They argue that social networks are the foundation of social capital. Social networks simultaneously capture individuals and social structure, thus serving as a vital conceptual link between actions and structural constraints, between micro- and macro-level analyses, and between relational and collective dynamic processes. They are further cognizant of the dual significance of the "structural" features of the social networks and the "resources" embedded in the networks as defining elements of social capital.
Nan Lin is professor of sociology, Duke University.
Karen Cook is Ray Lyman Wilber Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Stanford University.
Ronald S. Burt is Hobart W. Williams Professor of Sociology and Strategy, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
From inside the book
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This representation makes sense only when it is assumed that all members maintain strong and reciprocal relations (a completely dense or institutionalized network), 8 Building a Network Theory of Social Capital.
strong and reciprocal relations (a completely dense or institutionalized network), so that the strength of relations does not enter into the calculus. Yet, Bourdieu also describes how individuals interact and reinforce mutual ...
There is consistent, strong evidence that both network and contact resources positively affect the outcome of instrumental actions, such as job searching and job advances (Lin 1999).
... return or outcome concerns expressive or psychological consequences such as quality of life, health or mental health, as these returns are expected to be affected by strong-tie support 16 Building a Network Theory of Social Capital.
these returns are expected to be affected by strong-tie support or social integration (Lin 1986). If, however, the returns concern instrumental outcomes such as searching for better job or earnings, where theories have argued for the ...
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