The embeddedness of social capital in personal networks

TitleThe embeddedness of social capital in personal networks
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsMolina, JL, Lubbers, MJ, Valenzuela-García, H, García-Macias, A
JournalNework Science
Start Page189
Date Published25/05/2020

Name generators (NGs) and position generators (PGs) have been used to measure resources embedded in personal relationships, namely social support and social capital, respectively. Comparisons of these measures adopted NGs that only elicit a small number of alters (max. 5). In this paper we explore whether the measurement of social capital with NGs eliciting larger personal networks (say 15 to 20 alters) gives more comparable results to the PG in terms of occupational prestige. To address this issue, we designed a personal network questionnaire that combined a multiple name generator (MNG) and a PG and enquired about alter characteristics and alter-alter ties for the two sets of nominations simultaneously, allowing their integrated analysis. The questionnaire was implemented in the software EgoNet to collect data from social/environmental entrepreneurs in Spain (N = 30) and Mexico (N = 30. The analysis shows that the two approaches capture mostly non-overlapping sets of personal network members, suggesting that the PG measured in this case available, but not accessed social capital. Remarkably the NG led to a higher average prestige for this occupational group than the PG, but also a lower heterogeneity in prestige. The consequences of using one or another approach and their interpretations are discussed.

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