Social Networks: Theory, Measurement and Outcomes (2007-2010)

Numerous studies focused on the relationship between welfare state and inequality. The team wants to add to this line of inquiry the influence of social capital, i.e. people s social networks and resources accessed through these networks. It has been argued that welfare states decrease people s willingness to help others, thereby decreasing the social capital of recipients of help. However, to what extent welfare state provisions affect social capital remains a question and requires more empirical research. Because effects on social capital may be mediated by cultural factors, for example a relatively higher importance of family in Southern Europe, or by religious denomination, these factors must be controlled as well. The team will address these questions using the ISSP and ESS surveys.

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