Social capital and migration: How do similar resources lead to divergent outcomes?
- 906 Downloads
This article investigates how migrant social capital differentially influences individuals’ migration and cumulatively generates divergent outcomes for communities. To combine the fragmented findings in the literature, the article proposes a framework that decomposes migrant social capital into resources (information about or assistance with migration), sources (prior migrants), and recipients (potential migrants). Analysis of multilevel and longitudinal data from 22 rural villages in Thailand shows that the probability of internal migration increases with the available resources, yet the magnitude of increase depends on recipients’ characteristics and the strength of their ties to sources. Specifically, individuals become more likely to migrate if migrant social capital resources are greater and more accessible. The diversity of resources by occupation increases the likelihood of migration, while diversity by destination inhibits it. Resources from weakly tied sources, such as village members, have a higher effect on migration than resources from strongly tied sources in the household. Finally, the importance of resources for migration declines with recipients’ own migration experience. These findings challenge the mainstream account of migrant social capital as a uniform resource that generates similar migration outcomes for different groups of individuals or in different settings. In Nang Rong villages, depending on the configuration of resources, sources, and recipients, migrant social capital leads to differential migration outcomes for individuals and divergent cumulative migration patterns in communities.
KeywordsSocial Capital Potential Migrant Migration Decision Destination Diversity Migration Outcome
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Arizpe, L. 1975. Indigenas en la Ciudad de Mexico: El Caso de Las Marias [Indigenous in Mexico City: The case of“Las Marias”]. Mexico City: Secretaria de Educacion Publica.Google Scholar
- Bello, W., S. Cunningham, and L.K. Poh. 1998. A Siamese Tragedy: Development and Disintegration in Modern Thailand. London: Zed Books, Ltd.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P. 1986. “The Forms of Capital.” Pp. 241 -58 in Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education, edited by J.G. Richardson. New York: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
- Burt, R. 1992. Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Chamratrithirong, A., K. Archavanitkul, K. Richter, P. Guest, T. Varachai, W. Boonchalaksi, N. Piriyathamwong, and P. Vong-ek. 1995. National Migration Survey of Thailand. Bangkok, Thailand: Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University.Google Scholar
- Curran, S., F. Garip, and C. Chung. 2005. “Advancing Theory and Evidence About Migration and Cumulative Causation: Destination and Gender in Thailand.” CMD Working Paper No. 357. Center for Migration and Development, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
- Hafner, J. 2000. “Thailand.” Pp. 434–68 in Southeast Asia Diversity and Development, edited by T. Leinbach and R. Ulack. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.Google Scholar
- Jansen, K. 1997. External Finance in Thailands Development: An Interpretation of Thailands Growth Boom. New York: St. Martins Press.Google Scholar
- — 2001. Social Capital: A Theory of Social Structure and Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Lomnitz, L.A. 1977. Networks and Marginality: Life in a Mexican Shantytown. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Mills, M.B. 1997. Thai Women in the Global Labor Force: Consuming Desires, Contested Selves. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University.Google Scholar
- Neter, J., W. Wasserman, and M. Kunter. 1990. Applied Linear Statistical Models, 3rd ed. Boston: Irwin.Google Scholar
- Putnam, R. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
- Rasbash, J., F. Steele, W. Browne, and B. Prosser. 2005. A User’s Guide to MlwiN, version 2.0. London: Centre for Multilevel Modelling, University of Bristol.Google Scholar
- Shannon, C. 1948. “A Mathematical Theory of Communication.” Bell System Technical Journal 27:379–422, 623–56.Google Scholar
- Short, S. 2006. “Focus Group Interviews.” Pp. 103–16 in A Handbook for Social Science Field Research: Essays and Bibliographic Sources on Research Design, Methodology, and Fieldwork, edited by E. Perecman and S. Curran. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Suksiriserekul, S. 2000. “Responses of Thai Households and the Thai Government in Coping With the Social Impacts of the Economic Crisis.” Pp. 221–28 in Globalization and the Asian Economic Crisis: Indigenous Responses, Coping Strategies, and Governance Reform in Southeast Asia, edited by G. Hainsworth. Vancouver, Canada: Centre for Southeast Asia Research, Institute for Asian Research.Google Scholar
- Tambunlertchai, S. 1990. A Profile of Provincial Industries. Bangkok, Thailand: Thailand Development Research Institute.Google Scholar
- Taylor, J.E. 1986. “Differential Migration, Networks, Information and Risk.” Pp. 147–71 in Research in Human Capital and Development, Vol. 4, edited by O. Stark. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar