The Interrelation between Social Context, Social Structure, and Social Capital of International Migration Flows from Mexico to the U.S.: The Case of Guanajuato, Mexico

Nadia Flores, University of Pennsylvania

Even though the concept of “social capital” is widely used, it is still so “abstract” that Ronald Burt argues that it is mostly used as a “metaphor” of advantage. In this paper I relay on a series of sociological concepts and exclusive social network data collected in four communities in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, (two rural villages, a town, and a city) to exemplify the importance of the relationship between social context, social network structure, and social capital related to Mexican migration to the United States. First, I explore the type of network structure that exists among the migrant networks. Then, I relate that type of network structure to the social context defined according to the size of the community of origin of the migrant. Finally, I relate the social network structure and the social context to the social capital outcomes of the migrants.

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Presented in Session 61: Community Structure and Migration