Distinguished Speaker Series

 "Social Capital or Social Cost? Accessed Status, Tie Strength, and Depression in the U.S., Urban China, and Taiwan," Professor Lijun Song, Vanderbilt University

Time: 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Location: White Hall 102, 201 Dowman Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322

Open and free to the public

Does accessed status (i.e., network members’ status) interact with tie strength to protect or hurt across culture and society? Focusing on health, this study develops a theoretical framework with three sets of competing hypotheses from seven theories: social capital theory versus social cost theory on the direct double-edged role of accessed status for health; the social capital enhancement argument versus the social cost enhancement argument on the double-edged moderating role of tie strength; and three institutional explanations—collectivistic advantage, collectivistic disadvantage, and inequality structure—on the variations of those two double-edged roles across societies. Using nationally representative data simultaneously collected from three societies: the United States, urban China, and Taiwan, this study measures depression, seven indicators of accessed status on the occupational dimension, and two indicators of tie strength. Results are more consistent with the collectivistic disadvantage explanation and the inequality structure explanation. Social capital theory is supported in the United States and less so in Taiwan, while social cost theory in urban China. The social capital enhancement argument is confirmed in Taiwan and the social cost enhancement argument in the United States and urban China.

About the speaker

Lijun Song is an associate professor in the Department of Socioloty and Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University. Her major research interests include social networks, medical sociology, and social stratification. Her publications have appeared in journals such as Social Forces, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Society and Mental Health, Social Science & Medicine, Social Networks, Socliological Perspectives, American Behavioral Scientist, and Research in the Socioloty of Work.