Network resources, contact resources, and status attainment

Gina W F LAI*, Nan Lin, Shu Yin Leung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

147 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is a continuation of a research program designed to examine the role of social resources in the status attainment process. Unlike previous studies that conceptualized and operationalized social resources as either network resources or contact resources, it proposes a complementary approach that links the potential pool of the social resources embedded in a person's network to the actual mobilization of social resources in a specific event. The causal link between access to (for example, network resources) and use of (for example, contact resources) social resources is empirically tested in a series of models in which the effects of personal resources and social resources on status outcome are assessed. The analysis is based on a representative sample of employed males in a metropolitan area in upstate New York. Findings support the conceptualization of social resources as having two components. The analysis allows a further re-evaluation of the relative effects, both direct and indirect, of the ascribed versus achieved statuses on status attainment. Results suggest that ascribed factors may exert greater influence on status attainment than previously assumed when mediated effects of achieved factors on status outcome via access to and use of social resources are taken into consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-178
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Networks
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1998

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)


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