Social capital is an important predictor of socioeconomic attainment, defined here as household income, but it is less clear how this relationship may vary by socioeconomic status (SES). Coleman's (1988) theory of social capital suggests that context is likely to influence exchanges of capital. Indeed, theory and research suggest that SES may either intensify or compensate for social capital in its relation to socioeconomic attainment. I seek to identify and understand these potential interactions using data from 101,163 participants of the European Social Survey (ESS). Results indicate that while social trust and both absolute and relative social involvement--two common measurements of social capital--predict socioeconomic attainment, the link with relative social involvement was stronger for individuals with lower SES, suggesting a compensation effect. Meanwhile, the link between absolute social involvement and socioeconomic attainment was stronger for those with higher SES, suggesting an intensification effect and highlighting that effects may vary across different measures of social capital. More generally, however, it is clear that SES is a meaningful factor in the value or use of at least some features of social capital.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Leiter, Virginia K., "Socioeconomic Potential: Predicting Income Through the Moderating Effect of Socioeconomic Status on Social Capital" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 9577.
social capital, socioeconomic attainment, household income, socioeconomic status, education, income mobility, moderation