Fickle families and the kindness of strangers: Social capital in the lives of low-income single mothers

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Abstract

This article is a qualitative study that examines the social capital in the lives of 20 formerly homeless and nearly homeless single mothers with children in their care. The findings for this study indicate that the mothers' close social ties simultaneously served as a resource and a hindrance to their progress into sustainable work or education. Findings also show that nearly all of the women in this study benefited from "weak" ties by receiving information or other kinds of resources from strangers or friends of friends. Implications for policy and practice are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-55
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

Keywords

  • Homeless
  • Poverty
  • Single mothers
  • Social capital
  • Social networks
  • Welfare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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