Social Networks

Although education, experience, and other forms of human capital are of course crucial for securing jobs and getting ahead, it helps also to know people who can provide information about available opportunities and wield influence on your behalf. The study of social networks encompasses research on (a) how social ties are used to secure jobs, and (b) whether the social networks of disadvantaged groups (e.g., the "underclass") differ from those of advantaged groups.

Networks and jobs

Do most job-seekers find jobs through classified ads, close friends, or acquaintances? Are impersonal means of finding jobs (e.g., online ads) being used more or less frequently?

Social disadvantage and networks

Are poor people disadvantaged because they have relatively few connections to employed people? Are the social networks of women very different from those of men?

"When the rich wage war it is the poor who die." - Jean-Paul Sartre


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