British Journal of Sociology
Опубликовано на портале: 15-12-2002Siu-lun Wong, Janet W. Salaf British Journal of Sociology. 1998. Vol. 49. No. 3. P. 358-74.
In this paper, we argue that it would be fruitful to regard personal networks as a form of capital capable of generating economic returns by drawing on our research findings on the recent wave of emigration from Hong Kong. By putting network capital on a par with economic and cultural capital, we seek to identify its distinctive features in terms of institutionalization, capacity, moral economy, and processes of conversion and reproduction. In substantiating our argument, we present some quantitative evidence from our survey data on the uneven distribution of kinship ties which can be mobilized for emigration among different occupational classes. We then make use of our in-depth interview data to show that there is a qualitative variation too in the type of networks used by different occupational classes for emigration purposes. We conclude by reflecting on the implications of the concept of network capital for the study of migration, class formation, and the global economy.