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Status attainment can be understood as a process by which individuals mobilize and invest resources for returns in socioeconomic standings. Resources in this context are defined as valued goods in society, however consensually determined (Lin 1982, 1995), and values are normative judgments rendered on these goods which in most societies correspond with wealth, status, and power (Weber 1946). Socioeconomic standings refer to valued resources attached to occupied positions. These resources can be classified into two types: personal resources and social resources. Personal resources are possessed by the individual who can use and dispose them with freedom and without much concern for compensation. Social resources are resources accessible through one's direct and indirect ties. The access to and use of these resources are temporary and borrowed. For example, a friend's occupational or authority position, or such positions of this friend's friends, may be ego's social resource. The friend may use his/her position or network to help ego to find a job. These resources are "borrowed" and useful to achieve ego's certain goal, but they remain the property of the friend or his/her friends.
The theoretical and empirical work for understanding and assessing the status attainment process can be traced to the seminal study reported by Blau & Duncan (1967). The major conclusion was that, even accounting for both the direct and indirect effects of ascribed status (parental status), achieved status (education and prior occupational status) remained the most important factor accounting for the ultimate attained status. The study thus set the theoretical baseline for further modifications and expansions. All subsequent theoretical revisions and expansions must be evaluated for their contribution to the explanation of status attainment beyond those accounted for by the Blau-Duncan paradigm (Kelley 1990, Smith 1990). Several lines of contributions since, including the addition of sociopsychological variables (Sewell & Hauser 1975), the recast of statuses into classes (Wright 1979, Goldthorpe 1980), the incorporation of "structural" entities and positions as both contributing and attained statuses (Baron & Bielby 1980, Kalleberg 1988), and the casting of comparative development or institutions as contingent conditions (Treiman 1970) have significantly amplified rather than altered the original BlauDuncan conclusion concerning the relative merits of achieved versus ascribed personal resources in status attainment.
In the last three decades, a research tradition has focused on the effects on attained statuses of social resources. The principal proposition is that social resources exert an important and significant effect on attained statuses, beyond that accounted for by personal resources. Systematic investigations of this proposition have included efforts in: (a) developing theoretical explanations and hypotheses; (b) developing measurements for social resources; (c) conducting empirical studies verifying the hypotheses; and (d) assessing the relative importance of social resources as compared to personal resources in the process of status attainment. These investigations have been carried out in North America, Europe, and Asia, in multiple political economies, and have involved scholars of many nations and cultures. The accumulation and advances in theory and research have considerably expanded the intellectual horizon of sociological analysis in status attainment and, thus, in social stratification and social mobil ity. The purposes of this chapter are (a) to review the theoretical and empirical foundations of these lines of investigation, (b) summarize sampled studies and results, and (c) propose issues and directions for future research.
Before proceeding with the tasks outlined, I wish to identify the limitations of this review. It focuses on resources in the networks; as such, it does not review effects of properties of social networks per se (e.g., densities, centrality, bridging) unless they implicate accessed resources (what influence these characteristics may exert on the access and use of social resources). Second, the outcome of focus is the status attained rather than whether a job search is successful. The latter has a substantial literature of its own and is better summarized elsewhere (e.g., Granovetter 1995). This essay touches on aspects of job searches to the extent that they affect attained statuses. Finally, I am only reviewing the literature available in English. I am aware of an expanding literature in Europe, but unfortunately my language limitations do not allow for such coverage here.
FORMATIVE STUDIES AND THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS
Contributions of social network analysis to status attainment can be traced to the seminal study conducted by Mark Granovetter (1974), who interviewed 282 professional and managerial men in Newton, Massachusetts. The data suggested that those who used interpersonal channels seemed to land more satisfactory and better (e.g., higher income) jobs. Inferring from this empirical research, substantiated with a review of job-search studies, Granovetter proposed (1973) a network theory for information flow. The hypothesis of "the strength of weak ties" was that weaker ties tend to form bridges that link individuals to other social circles for information not likely to be available in their own circles, and such information should be useful to the individuals. 
However, Granovetter never suggested that access to or help from weaker rather than stronger ties would result in better statuses of jobs thus obtained (1995:148). Clues about the linkage between strength of ties and attained statuses came indirectly from a small world study conducted in a tri-city metropolitan area in upstate New York (Lin et al 1978). The task of the participants in the study was to forward packets containing information about certain target persons to others they knew on first-name basis so that the packets might eventually reach the target persons. The study found that successful chains (those packets successfully forwarded to the targets) involved higher-status intermediaries until the last nodes (dipping down in the hierarchy toward the locations of the targets). Successful chains also implicated nodes that had more extensive social contacts (who claimed more social ties) and yet these tended to forward the packets to someone they had not seen recently (weaker ties). The small world st udy thus made two contributions. First, it suggested that access to hierarchical positions might be the critical factor in the process of status attainment. Thus, the possible linkage between strength of ties and status attainment might be indirect: The strength of weak ties might lie in their accessing social positions vertically higher in the social hierarchy, which had the advantage in facilitating the instrumental action. Second, the study implicated behavior rather than a paper-and-pencil exercise, as each step in the packet-forwarding process required actual actions from each participant. Thus, the study results lend behavioral validity to those found in previous status attainment paper-pencil studies.
Based on these studies, a theory of social resources has emerged (Lin 1982, 1990). The theory begins with an image of the macro-social structure consisting of positions ranked according to certain normatively valued resources such as wealth, status, and power. This structure has a pyramidal shape in terms of accessibility and control of such resources: The higher the position, the fewer the occupants; and the higher the position, the better the view it has of the structure (especially down below). The pyramidal structure suggests advantages for positions nearer to the top, both in terms of number of occupants (fewer) and accessibility to positions (more). Individuals within these structural constraints and opportunities take actions for expressive and instrumental purposes. For instrumental actions (attaining status in the social structure being one prime example), the better strategy would be for ego to reach toward contacts higher up in the hierarchy. These contacts would be better able to exert influence on positions (e.g., recruiter for a firm) whose actions may benefit ego's interest. This reaching-up process may be facilitated if ego uses weaker ties, since weaker ties are more likely to reach out vertically (presumably upward) rather than horizontally relative to ego's position in the hierarchy.
Three propositions were thus formulated: (a) the social resources proposition: that social …