GINI DP 45: The Power of Networks. Individual and Contextual Determinants of Mobilising Social Networks for Help
In this paper we treat social networks as a resource of individuals, that is used in conjunction with other types of capital, and similarly to other types of capital, its use is context-specific. We propose a conditional mechanism for how context determines networks use: not only does context affect network mobilisation, but that it affects behaviour of different groups differently. We test this proposition on the example of social and economic polarisation influencing probability of turning to networks for help by different income groups. Our findings show that although the poor have the greatest need to turn to networks to compensate for the shortage of other forms of capital, when context becomes adverse, in comparison with other groups they are always disadvantaged in terms of networks mobilisation.
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