The family as (one- or two-step) social capital: mechanisms of support during labor market transitions. By: Vacchiano, Mattia; Yepes-Cayuela, Lidia; Martí, Joel. Community, Work & Family. Oct2021, Vol. 24 Issue 4, p471-487. 17p.

This paper uses a life-history grid to collect narrative data on the labor market transitions of young people aged 20–34 (n = 98) in order to analyze the support provided by relatives in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area. Drawing on social capital theory, we explore these mechanisms by analysing the flow of resources within family networks (one-step social capital) and how relatives mediate with other agents in the labor market (two-step social capital). Hence, we address the diversity of material, symbolic and informational resources provided by relatives during labor transitions in order to understand the mechanisms involved in the intergenerational reproduction of occupation inequalities. Although the ‘strength of weak ties’ thesis usually associates the use of family networks among disadvantaged groups, our results show that the mobilization of relatives is equally important in upper-class background, in which mechanisms such as nepotism and influence on third-party employers are activated. Among the working classes, family ties help job seekers to reach non-redundant connections in the secondary segment of the labor market. The article contributes by providing a detailed map of the roles played by relatives in a southern European context characterized by precariousness and unemployment.