Immigrant Networks and Social Capital
Immigrant Networks and Social Capital

Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2015

In recent years, immigration researchers have increasingly drawn on the concept of social capital and the role of social networks to understand the dynamics of immigrant experiences. How can they help to explain what brings migrants from some countries to others, or why members of different immigrant groups experience widely varying outcomes in their community settings, occupational opportunities, and educational outcomes?

This timely book examines the major issues in social capital research, showing how economic and social contexts shape networks in the process of migration, and assesses the strengths and weaknesses of this approach to the study of international migration. By drawing on a broad range of examples from major immigrant groups, the book takes network-based social capital theory out of the realm of abstraction and reveals the insights it offers.

Written in a readily comprehensible, jargon-free style, Immigrant Networks and Social Capital is appropriate for undergraduate and graduate classes in international migration, networks, and political and social theory in general. It provides both a theoretical synthesis for professional social scientists and a clear introduction to network approaches to social capital for students, policy-makers, and anyone interested in contemporary social trends and issues.

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  • June 2014
  • 240 pages
  • 156 x 219 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $67.50
  • 9780745662367
  • Paperback $23.75
  • 9780745662374
  • Open eBook $19.00
  • 9780745684598
Table of Contents

Introduction: Beyond Individual Migration 8

1 Social Networks in Immigration 15

2 Immigration and Social Capital 24

3 Networks Within and Across Nations 41

4 Family Ties 61

5 Enclaves, Neighborhoods, and Communities 76

6 The Role of Formal Institutions 94

7 Adaptation: Employment and the Economy 108

8 Adaptation: Educational Attainment and Achievement 126

Conclusion: Networks, Social Capital, and Immigrants 143

Reference 150

Index 166

About the Author

Carl L. Bankston III is an American sociologist and author. He is best known for his work on immigration to the United States, particularly on the adaptation of Vietnamese American immigrants, and for his work on ethnicity, social capital, sociology of religion and the sociology of education.

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Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2015

"Provides an important service in presenting in a systematic and clear way the sociological literature on social networks and clarifying the nature of the concept of social capital."
Journal of Economic Literature

''Until now, sociologists have needed a go-to volume on immigrant social networks that covers both migration itself and adaptation in the destination country. This is it. Carl Bankston has not only synthesized the research on networks and social capital across many dimensions, he puts them in a global context, extends the theoretical approach, and illustrates it with examples from four U.S. immigrant groups.''
Susan K. Brown, University of California, Irvine

"Carl Bankston offers a comprehensive, clear and compelling view of how social capital and immigrant networks operate and how they relate to pre- and post-migration conditions.  Vital for students and scholars of immigration, this book illuminates how workers and other immigrants residing in the United States make their way in a global economy shaped by relationships between individuals and institutions."
Audrey Singer, Brookings Institution
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