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Social Resources and Strength of Ties: Structural Factors in Occupational Status Attainment

Nan Lin, Walter M. Ensel and John C. Vaughn
American Sociological Review
Vol. 46, No. 4 (Aug., 1981), pp. 393-405
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095260
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Social Resources and Strength of Ties: Structural Factors in Occupational Status Attainment
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Abstract

For a class of social actions such as seeking a job, the socioeconomic standings of the contact (social resources) an individual uses will probably be very important in achieving a desired result. Drawing upon data from a sample of working males aged 21-64 in the metropolitan area of Albany-Troy-Schenectady, New York, we found that the job seeker's personal resources (initially his family background, but more importantly later his educational and occupational achievements) as well as his use of weak ties affect his ability to reach a contact of high status. The contact's status, in turn, has a strong and direct effect on the prestige of the attained job. As job experience increases, a person relies more on constructed rather than ascribed relations and the strong tie between his contact and the hiring firm becomes increasingly important.

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