What Do You Know, Who Do You Know?: School as a Site for the Production of Social Capital and its Effects on Income Attainment in Poland and the Czech Republic
This paper criticizes traditional approaches to stratification, which suggest that education contributes to inequality solely by endowing people with different amounts of human capital (knowledge and skills) or credentials. What these approaches overlook is the social component of education-friends, acquaintances and other connections one accumulates while in school. These connections reduce the uncertainty inherently present in the hiring process by compensating for lack of information with trust. We argue that social capital gained while in school has an independent effect on individual income, and show how this effect varies by education and experience levels. Conceptualizing schooling as an important source of social capital and finding ways to disentangle the effects of human and social capital on individual income are a contribution that economic sociologists can make to the study of education and inequality. Copyright 2002 The American Journal of Economics and Sociology.
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Volume (Year): 61 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (07)
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