Measuring Ethnic Social Capitals with the Position Generator

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Bonnie ERICKSON, University of Toronto, Canada
The position generator measures social capital in the sense of ties to people in varied occupations. The more different kinds of occupations one knows someone in, the more varied a range of resources one may access. Access to varied locations in other forms of stratification (other than class) also provides potential access to varied resources. In my study of the three largest ethnic groups in Toronto (White, Chinese, and Black) I pioneer the use of both the occupation and the ethnic group of alters to measure ethnic social capitals. I use questions such as "do you know a social worker who is White? Who is Chinese? Who is Black?" I illustrate the value of this form of measurement through two theoretically interesting sets of results. First, Black and Chinese respondents have similar levels of ethnic social capitals, with occupationally diverse ties to the dominant White majority and even more diverse ties within their own groups, but get these capitals in different ways consistent with their different cultures. Second, occupationally diverse ties to the dominant White group bring greater rewards in the labour market.