It’s Who You Know (and Who You Are): Social Capital in a School-Based Parent Network
Sociology of Education
Social capital is broadly beneficial, but parents reap particular benefits from network ties. Schools are key organizations through which parents develop ties. In this article, we examine school-based networks that provide valuable resources. What factors are associated with greater access to key resources such as child care, parenting advice, and educational information? Using network data from mothers of eighth graders, we employ qualitative comparative analysis to examine mothers’ status and network characteristics associated with two types of resource access—basic access, where resources are accessed through a single parent, and robust access, where resources are accessed through multiple parents. We find that particular combinations of status and network characteristics are critical. A wide range of mothers attain basic access, but race and socioeconomic status constrain robust access. These findings raise important questions about relational patterns and resource access for parents within a racially and socioeconomically diverse school.
Cox, Amanda Barrett, Amy C. Steinbugler, and Rand Quinn. "It’s Who You Know (and Who You Are): Social Capital in a School-Based Parent Network." Sociology of Education (Article published online July 3, 2021). https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/00380407211029655