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External colloquium - March 15 - Gwen van Eijk (Leiden University)

09 januari 2012
March 15, 2012, 13:00-14:15, BL056 Bloemstraat 36:
Gwen van Eijk (Leiden University): Bridges and Brokers of Social Capital and Network Inequality

Researchers of social capital debate about what kinds of ties provide access to resources (the ties that we can label as social capital): how to identify the most useful and effective ties? This question leads back to distinctions between bonding and bridging (Putnam) and between strong and weak (Granovetter). According to these conceptualizations, bridging and weak ties are more useful for, and effective in, accessing resources. However, this dichotomy makes less sense considering that (especially nowadays) many personal networks consist of (partly) separated clusters, organized around work, leisure, family and other activities. Furthermore, data from an intensive survey on personal networks and social capital (n=195) shows that both strong and weak ties provide access to resources. Building on Burt’s concept of ‘brokerage’, I explain how bonding and strong ties can also function as ‘brokers’ (providing access to resources). Brokers may be sociable or setting-specific ties and this matters for how resources are (likely) exchanged: either through relationship closeness or through setting-embeddedness. This alternative conceptualization of access to resources is valuable because it helps understand network inequality. In this presentation I look into class inequality of potential social capital.

Gwen van Eijk is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology, Leiden University. She obtained her PhD (cum laude) in 2010 at the Delft University of Technology. Her thesis is an intensive mixed-methods study on the relation between neighbourhood composition and network inequality (published as Unequal networks. Spatial segregation, relationships and inequality in the city, IOS Press, 2010).

Laatst gewijzigd:04 juli 2014 21:29

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