Social Capital, Social Support and Stratification
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Social Capital, Social Support and Stratification

An Analysis of the Sociology of Nan Lin

Edited by Ronald S. Burt, Yanjie Bian, Lijun Song and Nan Lin

This insightful book explores the spread of network imagery in three areas of sociology – social capital, social support, and China – using as its protagonist a man active in all three: Nan Lin. Social Capital, Social Support and Stratification provides a unique combination of Nan Lin’s core contributions to the field presented alongside new and original analyses.
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Chapter 3: Social Resources and Strength of Ties: Structural Factors in Occupational Status Attainment

Nan Lin, Walter M. Ensel and John C. Vaughn


For a class of social actions such as seeking a job, the socioeconomic standings of the contact (social resources) an individual uses will probably be very important in achieving a desired result. Drawing upon data from a sample of working males aged 21-64 in the metropolitan area of Albany-Troy-Schenactady, New York, we found that the job seeker's personal resources (initially his family background, but more importantly later his educational and occupational achievements) as well as his use of weak ties affect his ability to reach a contact of high status. The contact's job status, in turn, has a strong and direct effect on the prestige of the attained job. As job experience increases, a person relies more on constructed rather than ascribed relations and the strong tie between his contact and the hiring firm becomes increasingly important.

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