Associations and Social Networks

  • Vincent Chua
  • Bonnie H. Erickson


This chapter underscores the reciprocal relationship between social networks and associations. While much is known about how individual social capital, defined here as the valuable resources in a personal network, is related to the advancement of individual careers, much less is known about how individual social capital, especially social network involvement, is related to participation in voluntary associations. This brief chapter reviews some literature on the latter and argues that social network involvement and participation in voluntary associations are reciprocally related: the more connected a person is, the more likely he/she is to join an association. Yet once joining an association, he/she is likely to forge friendships with fellow members, becoming even more connected than before. Thus, access to social capital as social networks can increase a person’s participation in associations, because wellconnected people get more invitations to join associations. And joining an association may expand a person’s circle and increase his/her social network involvement.


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent Chua
    • 1
  • Bonnie H. Erickson
    • 2
  1. 1.Singapore
  2. 2.Canada

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