Social Capital: Theory and Research

Front Cover
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.

 

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Contents

Building a Network Theory of Social Capital
4
Structural Holes versus Network Closure as Social Capital
32
The Position Generator Measurement Techniques for Investigations of Social Capital
58
How Much Is That Network Worth? Social Capital in Employee Referral Networks
86
Interpersonal Ties Social Capital and Employer Staffing Practices
106
Good Networks and Good Jobs The Value of Social Capital to Employers and Employees
128
Getting Started The Influence of Social Capital on the Start of the Occupational Career
160
Social Capital as Social Mechanisms and Collective Assets The Example of Status Auctions among Colleagues
186
Social Networks and Social Capital in Extreme Environments
210
Network Capital in a Multilevel World Getting Support from Personal Communities
234
Guanxi Capital and Social Eating in Chinese Cities Theoretical Models and Empirical Analyses
276
Change and Stability in Social Network Resources The Case of Hungary under Transformation
298
Index
326

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