Social resources : a theory of social capital
The present paper reviews the theory of social resources as sociological theory intended to describe individual actions in the context of social structure. Social resources defined as resources embedded in social ties accessible in the social networks are seen as useful as personal resources which individuals possess. By accessing and using social resources, individuals may attain instrumental or expressive goals of action. However, the matching of action intentions and interaction patterns may require either positional advantages and/or choices in action. Thus the theory of social resources consists of three propositions : 1) that social resources facilitate goal attainment (the social resources proposition), 2) that original social positions facilitate access to and use of social resources (the strength of position proposition), and 3) that choice of weaker and heterophilous ties facilitates access to and use of social resources (the strength of tie proposition). The paper presents further directions for theoretical elaborations, and comments on its linkage to the notion of social capital.