The Dynamics of Social Support Inequality: Maintenance Gaps by Socioeconomic Status and Race?

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  • Additional Information
    • Subject Terms:
    • Abstract:
      A vast literature demonstrates how personal networks mirror and reproduce broader patterns of social inequality. The availability of key resources through informal mechanisms is an important way that high-status Americans retain a host of social advantages. Largely absent from this account of social capital inequality, however, is an explicit temporal dimension. The current article addresses that gap by targeting the dynamic nature of personal networks. Specifically, we consider whether race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES) are associated with how US adults' resource-providing ties persist or vanish between two time points. Using panel data from the Portraits of American Life Study, we find that non-Whites and lower-SES Americans tend to receive useful advice and practical help from fewer close ties than do White and higher-SES adults, while Black Americans are especially likely to receive financial assistance from their network members. Models fail to indicate that non-Whites lose these resourceful ties at a disproportionate rate over time. On the other hand, we find that income has a robust association with the ability to retain ties initially providing advice and help. We interpret the latter findings as a temporal manifestation of network-based inequality. The maintenance gap between higher- and lower-SES Americans, we argue, can reinforce other social capital disparities by shaping dependable access to important resources and by altering their ability to effectively mobilize resources. Network maintenance is a concept that could be useful to researchers studying how social capital matters for a variety of instrumental and expressive outcomes. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
      Copyright of Social Forces is the property of Oxford University Press / USA and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
    • ISSN:
      0037-7732
    • Accession Number:
      10.1093/sf/sow024
    • Accession Number:
      115226843
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      SCHAFER, M. H.; VARGAS, N. The Dynamics of Social Support Inequality: Maintenance Gaps by Socioeconomic Status and Race? Social Forces, [s. l.], v. 94, n. 4, p. 1795–1822, 2016. DOI 10.1093/sf/sow024. Disponível em: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=rlh&AN=115226843. Acesso em: 13 ago. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Schafer MH, Vargas N. The Dynamics of Social Support Inequality: Maintenance Gaps by Socioeconomic Status and Race? Social Forces. 2016;94(4):1795-1822. doi:10.1093/sf/sow024
    • APA:
      Schafer, M. H., & Vargas, N. (2016). The Dynamics of Social Support Inequality: Maintenance Gaps by Socioeconomic Status and Race? Social Forces, 94(4), 1795–1822. https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/sow024
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Schafer, Markus H., and Nicholas Vargas. 2016. “The Dynamics of Social Support Inequality: Maintenance Gaps by Socioeconomic Status and Race?” Social Forces 94 (4): 1795–1822. doi:10.1093/sf/sow024.
    • Harvard:
      Schafer, M. H. and Vargas, N. (2016) ‘The Dynamics of Social Support Inequality: Maintenance Gaps by Socioeconomic Status and Race?’, Social Forces, 94(4), pp. 1795–1822. doi: 10.1093/sf/sow024.
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Schafer, MH & Vargas, N 2016, ‘The Dynamics of Social Support Inequality: Maintenance Gaps by Socioeconomic Status and Race?’, Social Forces, vol. 94, no. 4, pp. 1795–1822, viewed 13 August 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Schafer, Markus H., and Nicholas Vargas. “The Dynamics of Social Support Inequality: Maintenance Gaps by Socioeconomic Status and Race?” Social Forces, vol. 94, no. 4, June 2016, pp. 1795–1822. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1093/sf/sow024.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Schafer, Markus H., and Nicholas Vargas. “The Dynamics of Social Support Inequality: Maintenance Gaps by Socioeconomic Status and Race?” Social Forces 94, no. 4 (June 2016): 1795–1822. doi:10.1093/sf/sow024.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Schafer MH, Vargas N. The Dynamics of Social Support Inequality: Maintenance Gaps by Socioeconomic Status and Race? Social Forces [Internet]. 2016 Jun [cited 2020 Aug 13];94(4):1795–822. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=rlh&AN=115226843