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Social Forces Colloquium Series: Emily Smith, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
January 23, 2019 @ 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
The Multiplexity and Locality of Job Lead Ties
The use of social ties to gain information about job opportunities has been the subject of a large body of research across many disciplines. Perhaps most well known, Granovetter’s (1973) “strength of weak ties” theory argues ties that bridge social groups can more effectively diffuse information, and these ties are necessarily weak. Thus, information about job opportunities is theorized to be more useful when coming from weaker ties outside of one’s own social circle, as information is less likely to be redundant. Although much is known and theorized about job leads and weak ties, little work has focused on how these ties vary throughout more spatially or socially diverse populations, who makes up an individual’s set of potential available job lead ties (as opposed to the ties that were used to find jobs), or the extent to which these ties overlap with other social relations (i.e., multiplexity). Using data from the American Social Fabric Study (Butts et al., 2014), this paper attempts to fill this gap by focusing on the pool of potential job lead ties of individuals across the western United States and studying the relation in terms of multiplexity and locality to ego. Findings suggest that these ties tend to exhibit high degrees of multiplexity throughout, and while these ties tend to more often be local, they also do extend beyond ego’s local environment.