When Do Social Networks Increase Inequality?

Paul DiMaggio, Filiz Garip

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Sociologists ordinarily think of social networks as beneficial sources of support, stability, and social capital. But they can have a dark side. In this chapter we suggest that social networks may exacerbate inequality between social groups and make it more difficult to overcome. This can happen when A good, service, or practice helps individuals get ahead; That good, service, or practice is characterized by network externalities, so that benefits 672to adopters are higher, or risks are lower, if members of one’s social network have already adopted it; and Social networks are segregated with respect to some characteristic associated with adoption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSocial Stratification
Subtitle of host publicationClass, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780429963193
ISBN (Print)9780429494642
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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