Drawing on a social capital theoretical framework, I examine race, ethnic, and gender wage inequalities. Specifically, I extend past research by analyzing differences in the mobilization of different types of job contacts, what these types of contacts and their level of influence “buy” job seekers in the labor market, and the extent to which differences in social resources explain between-group variations in wages. Four aspects of job contacts are implicated: the race and gender of the job contact, the strength of the relationship between the job seeker and the job contact, and the job contact’s influence. Employing the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality, I find that white men are more likely to mobilize weak, white, male, and influential contacts, those contacts hypothesized to positively impact employment outcomes. Moreover, their greater mobilization of male and influential ties helps to explain a substantial part of their wage advantage over white women and Lations. However, in many ways, their overall social resource advantage seems somewhat overstated. They reap no advantages over blacks, Latinos, and white women in their use of weak and white ties. Furthermore, results indicate that the benefits of social resources appear largely contingent on the social structural location of job seekers mobilizing them, less on any benefits inherent in different “types” of job contacts.
- Women of color to become majority by 2050 | Equal Voice (equalvoiceforfamilies.org)