Social and Financial Capital Resources Can Lessen Hardships

Parks-Yancy, R., DiTomaso, N. & Post, C. (2007). The mitigating effects of social and financial capital resources on hardships. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 28(3), 429-448.

Brief Description: Social and financial capital resources include knowing people who can help one obtain a job, offer cash or help defray expenses when layoffs or other hardships occur. These resources differ by gender and class (income/occupational status). This study found that middle class individuals had ample access to social and financial capital resources, but the working class members did not. While women and men had similar access to financial resources; women were more likely to gain those resources from men than men were to obtain them from women. Furthermore, men were more likely than women to overcome hardship using social capital resources, whereas women had less access to such resources.

Implications: Thus, having social and/or financial capital resources ensures that people do not suffer the full consequences of their hardships. The hardship itself is of less importance than the access to social and financial capital resources. Two people can experience the same hardship even at the same time, but one may overcome it because of having social ties which provide social and financial capital resources, while the other cannot because they don’t have such relationships. Hardship for the individual without access to social and financial capital resources may lead to downward mobility, whereas the individual with those resources can use them to move upward.