Paper Information

Journal:   NAMEH-YE OLUM-E EJTEMAI   SPRING 2007 , Volume - , Number 30; Page(s) 63 To 95.
 
Paper: 

NETWORK SOCIAL CAPITAL AND GENDER: A STUDY OF STRUCTURAL, INTERACTIONAL AND FUNCTIONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF MEN'S AND WOMEN'S SOCIAL NETWORKS IN TEHRAN

 
 
Author(s):  BASTANI S.*, SALEHI HIKOUEI M.
 
* SOCIOLOGY DEPARTMENT, AZAHRA UNIVERSITY, TEHRAN, IRAN
 
Abstract: 

Social relations are considered to constitute the most fundamental element of any society. Based on network approach, relations and ties are seen as social capital. It is through these relations that individuals find access to a variety of social resources and social support. Social relations, viewed as such, serve to facilitate the agency’s actions within the structure, to attain goals. This study aims at examining men’s and women’s network social capital in Tehran. The main assumption is that men and women differ in their social capital due to their different life structure and because of gender inequalities. The difference in network social capital can be explained by considering structural (size and composition), interactional (frequency of contact and intimacy), and functional (social support) aspects. This is a survey-method research which attempts to analyze the effects of gender and other control variables on network social capital. The population of the study consists of individuals above 18 years of age residing at different districts of Tehran. A sample of 320 persons was chosen through the multistage cluster sampling method. The findings indicate that one cannot differentiate sharply men’s and women’s networks in terms of structural components; however, these networks differ as far as the functional and interactional features are concerned. Women provide more feminine types of support, i.e., emotional; while men tend to provide masculine types of support, i.e., financial, practical, and information. The employed and married respondents enjoyed a higher level of social capital. The separation between men’s and women’s social networks is related to their opportunities and restraints, which is in turn the results of gender inequalities and of unequal distribution of facilities in the society.

 
Keyword(s): GENDER, SOCIAL CAPITAL, SOCIAL NETWORK, SUPPORT
 
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