Content, Composition, and Context
Bridging and bonding refer to the nature of the networks themselves: whether one’s
social contacts like one to other “loose” networks and resources or if they simply tie
one tightly into a single, “dense” network.
Three crucial dimensions of social networks: that of network structure, that of
network content, and that of network function.
In the case of drug-using networks, the surface function may itself form the basis of
social relationships that constitute the network.
The tight social networks of the small town might in fact amplify drug-using
behaviors, rather than constrain them.
The relationship between social capital and health outcomes is not always positive.
Some research has found that the impact of social relationships on individuals’
mental states and behaviors can vary significantly depending on the context and
characteristics of those relationships.
Social capital that is valuable in one place may actually serve as an obstacle to
integration in the wider society.
The same social environment may be experienced very differently by people
occupying different subjective positions within it, and one’s social networks are
amajor component of how one experiences a social milieu.
Social networks profoundly shape the daily social processes that constitute one’s
tangible experiences and opportunities.
Qualitative research on the relationship between social networks and substance use
behavior has also shown distinct differences across contexts.
oResearch among African American women in rural Florida indicates that
local social support networks may moderate the negative effects of addiction,
and protective effects have also been attributed to social networks among
urban Latino adolescents confronting drug use opportunities.
Pre-existing social capital was a valuable resource for middle-class individuals
recovering from addiction.
Social networks and social stressors combined to reinforce smoking patterns, not