Family, School, and Access to Social Capital Among High School Students in Urban Nanjing

Gina W F LAI*, Odalia M H WONG, Xiaotian Feng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Unequal access to bridging social capital is found to be an important factor of social inequality. School is a social organization where individuals can make social connections and through whom, can accumulate social capital. Existing research on the relationship between school and social capital has mainly focused on the bonding function of social capital and its impact on academic outcomes. Access to bridging social capital through school peers is little understood. The present study aims to examine the relationship between school and access to bridging social capital through peers in urban China. Data come from a probability sample of 989 high school students in urban Nanjing. Respondents from better family backgrounds are found to be more likely to enter high-prestige schools than the less advantaged students. School peers are the most significant source of social capital for students in high-prestige schools. These findings suggest that school is an important channel through which family advantages in social capital can be transmitted to the younger generation and reinforced through school tracking, further exacerbating social capital inequality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-960
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Volume59
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • China
  • school-based social ties
  • social capital
  • social network
  • youth

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