Making The Links: Poverty, Ethnicity and Social Networks was published in October 2013 as part of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) Poverty and Ethnicity Programme.
The report looks at the ways that people from different ethnic groups use social networks to advance their prospects.
The research was carried out by a partnership between practitioners and academics, led by Angus McCabe at the University of Birmingham’s Third Sector Research Centre.
The report found that:
- People tend to have networks which are limited to those of a similar education and work type as themselves;
- This limits their ability to find better work or other opportunities to move out of poverty;
- Many people could make better use of the contacts they had, particularly if given the right support and encouragement by agencies and community groups;
- However, maintaining social networks takes time, effort and money; and
- Trying to expand networks beyond close friends and families can feel risky and uncertain, which can lead people to stay within tried-and-tested close contacts, perpetuating social exclusion and inequalities.